The Poor is Richer than Me
After my dinner, I decided to take a stroll in my balcony before I call it a day and sleep. And there in front of me, on the footpath he is. Lets call him Raees.
I watch him come by and pull a black sheet neatly rolled and kept stuck between a light pole and the fence. It has always been there, and yet I never took notice. So Raees pulls it out, folds it into half, and starts dusting the foothpath. By then I know he is going to sleep there. But what difference will it make if he dusts a little or lot. Its gonna be dirty,he is probably as dirty, I ponder. I wonder why is not keeping his bag aside, light as it may be, but still. I keep looking.
Dusting done. Now time to neatly lay that sheet on the ground. How much of an effort can it be? Give it a wave & let gravity settle it for u. But no. Raees kneels, keeps it nice and flat, without any crevice. Now he hangs the bag on the fence, pulls out a white sheet. At first I thought it is a newspaper but it turns out to be another sheet to make his bed. Bed, mind you. He pulls the black sheet aside, places the white sheet just as neatly as the he did for the black one, and places the black one over it. He leaves a little space though, at the other end, which I later realized was so that he could stretch is legs long.
2 sheets done. Time to pounce n sleep? Not yet. This guy is not done just yet. Takes the bag from the fence, takes his floaters off, keeps it aside. Then realizes something and puts it under his sheets. I wonder and think “Ok so the bag is empty and won’t make such a good pillow. So the floaters”. Now the mattress. Let me ask you a question? How much time do you spend on putting a mattress on your bed? 2 minutes? 3? 5? Raees, spends a good 7 minutes. First he dusts it, then he tucks it, at the corners and the edges but leaves a little room near the feet end. But why? Its a long enough sheet. What is he thinking??? Flattens it out, no surface folds, no waves, no lose portion. He makes that sure. Perfectionist this guy is.
And then he folds a little at one end, puts his bag on the sheet and in between the fold near his floaters. Presses it, stuffs it, checks it is nice and soft, pats it twice and the pillow is ready. Wow. All set. Now the blanket that came out with the mattress. Pulls it over, stretches his legs n sleeps.
Elaborate exercise to say the least when he knows he probably has to get going at the break of dawn. But why am I sharing all this? What did I learn? Here is goes…
He dusts the footpath before setting up. Like any normal human being he wants cleanliness. He may not have had a bath for days but he wants his sleeping area to be clean. Necessity? Desire? No, Character. Deep down thats who he is. I salute him and the people who take initiative to keep their surrounding clean. If you cannot find a reason to do so, here it is. Don’t give them money, food, attention. They will survive. But atleast keep the streets clean for them. How hard can it be?
He keeps his floaters under his sheets and tucks them in the mattress. This only tells us that even a begger is afraid of his possessions being stolen. Between all the progress in this world, this is where humanity has reached.
He takes his time to set up his bed. Yes Bed. Nice, cozy, neat Bed. Imagine the joy, the content, satisfaction in his mind. Perfectionist. He knows that he did it perfectly. He did it for his own satisfaction, because he wanted it. For his own peace. What better way to end a day than finding peace and satisfaction in doing the final act of the day…
He is out there on the footpath and is content and probably fast asleep. And here I look up at the sky and wonder, “We humans are a state-of-the-art creation”. Even the poor are rich in ways we can’t imagine. He is gonna sleep shorter but better than me. He is gonna wake up fresher than me. All because his day ended with peace and satisfaction in his mind
I have seen something so simple yet so beautiful. I take my lesson from Raees.
Have Cleanliness ,strive for Perfection and you will find Satisfaction.