There was no god that had showed me what good things were about.
It was a moment of human compassion that surprised me the most. An act I didn’t expect whatever logic I tried to use. The surprise gave me chills. The feeling was so strong it still runs down my spine when I remember it.
Some months ago, I was with my brother in Grove having something photocopied. I always made it a habit to go to the bakery to buy some pastries. Beggars become a usual sight for bustling places like these.
My brother had something to do so I was waiting. I sat beside the bakery. It was a cold night. I was in luck that the salon beside the bakery just happened to leave a chair outside. Some minutes passed and another costumer came to the bakery. It was an old lady who I saw asking this “mama”(man in his 50’s) for money. The grubby man looked with contempt at the old lady. After that, the old lady didn’t say a word. She left with peace not harboring the slightest defeat from the man’s reaction to her plea.
A few moments later. You can hear the coins in her purse as she pays for the four pieces of “pandesal(bread).” Seeing her wallet it was clear only “barya(change)” was all she could get to spend for tonight’s dinner. I was looking at her and when she glanced back at me I smiled. Smiling back had become a sort of instinct when I feel no harm coming from a person. The most natural greeting I could give without saying a word.The next thing she did was offer some of what she just bought. It was hard earned bread I saw. Compared to the “inipit(sweet cake bread)” and cookies I bought, her bread looked tastier than anything the bakery can offer. She offered me something I could buy at my own pleasure while it being a necessity to her. That bread she wanted to give me in exchange for the smile I just happen to have.
In the end I didn’t accept her bread and said my gratitude. I smiled being very grateful, knowing in some distant way that world still has some tricks to show me. Given that everything was somewhat magical in that contradicting moment.