It was in the month of April when I was applying for University. The United States International University is located along the Thika road highway near the Safari park hotel. I alighted from the bus at Safari park and as I walked up the stairs at the foot bridge i noticed a beggar seated just above the stairs and, without thinking or looking, I threw the ten shillings I held in my hand at his feet and walked away. I did not think about him again, and for the few days I crossed the bridge I did the same thing.
I was accepted at the university and so every day I would carry an extra ten shillings to give the beggar at the bridge. One day I was late for school, so I was running up the stairs to cross the foot bridge with my phone in my hand. I tripped and my phone flew out of my hand and landed at the beggar’s feet. As he picked it up to place it in my hand, I took a closer look at him. A man in his late fifties, he had white hair and a little white mustache, wore a green hoody jacket, one foot had a shoe on, the other foot was shoeless and swollen and some skin had peeled off but had healed, a case of elephantiasis maybe. I took the phone and said hi, he smiled back at me and said I should be more careful climbing up the stairs. I walked away and as I reached the other end of the bridge I looked back at him and walked slowly down the stairs. I could not stop thinking about this man, and the fact that I hadn’t given him the usual ten shillings. I kept wondering where he comes from, does he have children, how many people actually talk to him as they drop coins at his feet and how does he feel when no one talks to him?
In the evening I talked about this beggar at the bridge with my roommate for a while and I asked her all the questions I had in mind. I decided I would always say hello when I dropped change at his feet, so the next day I said hello, then dropped the ten shillings and walked away, and every day that followed I would do that. He would answer with a big smile on his face and shouted a God bless you as I walked away. As days passed, I realized that people who gave him change after me would also say hello, and I saw how happy it made him. As I walked away I realized it made me feel happy as well. I realized if I didn’t say hi to him,I would walk away feeling extremely guilty and it made me feel really bad. My roommate thought I was crazy but I wasn’t. Well, maybe I sounded a little crazy.
I haven’t asked for his name yet but every time he sees me walking up the stairs he smiles like he has won a lottery and even though i don’t give him change sometimes, I always stop to say hello. What little thing do you do that makes someone else feel important? What little thing makes you feel bad if you don’t do it? Angels are not only in heaven, they are everywhere. God has given all of us the gift of life and the ability to make other people happy. You can be someone’s angel and spread happiness to the world. There are so many little things we can do to make a big difference in somebody else’s life. Think about this little things and do them, as little and unimportant as they may seem they touch someone’s life in a mighty big way. Try talking to that lonely girl in your church or classroom, smiling at the gateman as you walk in and out, or complimenting your housekeeper when she does a good job. Believe me, it makes them feel important and appreciated.
No man is an island. We all need each other to survive in this world and it should be everyone’s duty to warm people’s hearts everywhere we go. Be the difference that the world needs, walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes, and imagine yourself in somebody else’s place. As you check out your to do list, think about how you have made someone smile or how many people think about you when they do a flashback of their best moments of the day. Make a change in the smallest ways and make a big difference and if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in the same room with a mosquito.
Written by Lucy, the chief blog editor of this website and program assistant at two feet project.