A while back, there was a viral news story here in Indonesia: the father of a famous celebrity was found begging on the street.
When the government’s social agency picked him up, he was in terrible condition. He didn’t have any belongings. He didn’t even have a single penny. And he apparently hadn’t taken a shower for days.
This became viral because his daughter is a famous celebrity with lots and lots of money. How could this happen?
As it turns out, the celebrity’s father and mother divorced years ago when she was just 7 years old. Since then, the father worked odd jobs until one day he could no longer find any more jobs. Not knowing what else to do, he became a beggar. And not being able to pay rent, he just slept wherever he could.
The celebrity daughter had lost contact with his father for years. Upon hearing about him, she visited him and arranged for her father to be taken care of.
This story makes me aware of the reality of life. It also teaches me a few lessons. Here are the lessons I learned:
1. Realize that you are luckier than you think.
You might think that you don’t have this or that. But guess what? There are many people out there who have way less than you do. In fact, there are those who have nothing, not even a single penny.
If you have Internet access to read this, then you are lucky. You have a reason to be grateful.
2. Take care of your family.
Do you have a family member whom you rarely see? It doesn’t hurt to find out about him or her. Do you have someone in your family in need of a helping hand? It doesn’t hurt to help him or her. You might not like them very much, but they are your family. You should help them.
3. Help those in need.
We shouldn’t be so busy with ourselves that we forget the plight of others out there. There are many people who you can help. You can donate to a charity you trust, or you can volunteer yourself. In any case, learn to be more attentive to those in need around you.
4. Learn from those who are generous despite not having much.
When the celebrity’s father was on the street, he often came to a particular street seller who sells porridge. He would ask her for some food, and she generously gave it to him. When she had no porridge left, she would give him some money instead.
The street seller didn’t have much herself, but she gave anyway. We can all learn from her generosity.