Sunday, 12 June 2011

Don't We All

The woman parked in front of the mall, wiping off her car. She had just come from the car wash and was waiting for her friend to get out of work. Coming her way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money.

There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don't want to be bothered. For him, it was one of those "I don't want to be bothered times." "I hope he doesn't ask me for any money," she thought. He didn't. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn't look like he had enough money to even ride the bus. 

After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very pretty car," he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard kept more than his face warm. She said, "thanks," and continued sitting quietly inside the car. He sat there quietly too. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between them widened, something inside her said, "Ask him if he needs any help." She was sure that he would say "yes" but still she yielded to the inner voice. 

"Do you need any help?" she asked. 

He answered in three simple but profound words. She had expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand, instead, he spoke the three words that shook her (and me, when I first read this story)

"Don't we all?" he said. 

We feel high and mighty, successful and important, above the bums in the street. Until someone reminds us those three words. Don't we all? We all need help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but we still do need help. She reached into her wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. 

We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.But sometimes we stumble upon the most profound of thoughts from the most unexpected of sources.Five years after I heard this story from our school janitor, those three little words still ring true.


  1. yaar zindagi jeene de chain se. dont remind us of all these things :)

  2. I am a karmik. We all reap what we sow. Every action affects karma balance.

  3. Don't we all? We do. Thank you. It kinda made my day.

    1. Thank you. Glad I could make a difference.


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