A passenger on the trotro was begging the mate to let him ride for free. These things really annoy me.  I mean why would you get on the trotro knowing you weren’t going to pay? I hate parasites. Anyway, the guy wouldn’t stop begging with the mate, who was having none of it. The way the man was talking I wondered if he had mental problems. People started to turn and stare and to laugh at him. When he eventually got off he said his vehicle had broken down and he went to collect tools. Story story!

As we drove away another passenger admonished the mate for making a fuss over 50p. Another passenger argued with him. It’s the principle of the matter not the amount. But then he took out his money and said he would pay for the man.  A hush came over the car. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I felt ashamed and embarrassed and I was imagining everyone else was feeling the same.

We had all been judging the man but this other passenger just saw his need and his humanity. This random act of kindness was deeply shocking to me and shook me up. Sometimes we are so concerned about other people gaining advantage over us that we block off our compassion.

I hope I can carry this lesson into my life. I don’t know how yet or if I will manage it. But sometimes in the darkness a tiny light shines illuminating possibilities for hope and change.

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