humbled

on this independence day eve, i drove over to pertiwi and offered my services to their soup kitchen for the night.

i watch as a stranger with a volunteer tag. i watched as multicultural people with no home, no money, no love and no respect from society, all huddled together with a lukewarm packet of rice with little bits of condiments in their hands under a tree. they share, they laugh, they smile, they joke as one. a multicultural microcosm of an ideal society albeit an imperfect, wanting and needy one. to them, this is their home, their family. to me, this is what the bigger picture should be. learning to respect one other as equals. sharing what we have with each other. so much we can learn from those that has so little to give…

i am humbled.

i came as an apprehensive member of the society. the idea of them being dirty and unruly stuck in my head as we drove silently through the night to the designated city stop points with only the radio as our mediator. new to the group, i was all but left out of the regulars’ conversations except for some randomly timed explanations from the lead person on what to do when we reached. i expected the worse but these people are far from it. maybe slightly worn around the edges, slightly unkempt but dirty, noisy, rude and unruly they weren’t. the imagery planted in my head has made me judge before i saw. and for that i was ashamed of myself.

so i did my rounds with pertiwi that night and i left feeling sad but humbled. sad for their situations but who am i to be? i won’t pretend to understand them and why they choose to live this way. i am sure many of them have a family or a home to go back to but they seem so happy being where they are. humbled by their little imperfect malaysia. their respect for each other when society shows them none…

i told myself that i need to come back again. and thus i will.

there is a story to be told here. a thing or two we can learn to apply to a bigger macrocosm.

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