Emulating humanitarians

Emulating humanitarians

I saw a poorly clad woman with two jaded looking kids standing by the entrance.

Humanitarians brimming with compassion for the suffering humanity draw our admiration. They get acclaims and awards. These saintly people, whose lives reflect such attributes that many of us can only dr-eam about, are no run-of-the-mill folks. Certainly, none among us can come anywhere close to the likes of great people like Mother Theresa or Baba Amte. However, a recent incident gave me some insight on how ordinary folks can indeed emulate them in ordinary ways.

Returning home after completing some tiresome work at the bank all morning, I decided to stop by at the neighbourhood vegetable store to pick up a fresh stock of vegetables and fruit for the household. Though inflation and mounting grocery prices rob us of the joy of shopping, the activity of choosing fresh vegetables and fruit is absorbing.

I always find the fruit section, in particular, to be most alluring. Just as I was eyeing the neatly stocked mangoes, an elderly woman by my side warned me that they were still pricey and that we should wait for a few more days for the mango season to fully kick-in. Thanking her for the bit of advice, I finished my shopping and headed to the billing counter. 

Just then, I noticed a poorly clad woman with two jaded looking children standing by the entrance with a crumpled Rs 10 in hand, talking to the store owner. It was obvious that she was asking for something in exchange for the money. Whatever it was, I saw the gentleman shake his head vehemently urging her to leave him alone. The elderly woman once again was quick to react. Intervening, I saw her hand over some money to the store owner upon which a big, luscious mango was given to the poor woman. The woman grabbed the fruit and scrambled along the road.

As he billed my items, the owner told me what had happened. The woman wanted a mango for her sons with the Rs 10 that she had. But when he rationalised that a fruit costed Rs 50, the elderly woman offered to pay him the price and insisted that he give the mango to the poor woman.  
I could not but admire the charity of this elderly woman. While she postponed buying the fruit until the prices came down to gratify her own needs, she had the spirit to give away freely the equivalent of the price of a fruit towards unpremeditated charity.

Settling my bill, I left the store with a fresh perspective that the likes of Mother Theresa and Baba Amte can indeed be emulated through random acts of charity in the everyday walk of life.
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