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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

"The one with the food and the line.."

It's amazing how easy one can be inspired by a simple gesture; a basic action.

I'd like to share an excerpt from an email sent by a friend; depicting the raw humility and humbleness of the Japanese society, in lieu of their current challenges. Its contents elaborate a letter sent from a Vietnamese immigrant working in Fukushima to a friend in Vietnam, which was translated for the benefit of our acquisition.


Brother, there was a really moving incident. It involves a little Japanese boy who taught an adult like me a lesson on how to behave like a human being.

Last night, I was sent to a little grammar school to help a charity
organization distribute food to the refugees. It was a long line that snaked this way and that and I saw a little boy around 9 years old. He was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts.

It was getting very cold and the boy was at the very end of the line. I
was worried that by the time his turn came there wouldn't be any food left. So I spoke to him. He said he was at school when the earthquake happened. His father worked nearby and was driving to the school. The boy was on the third floor balcony when he saw the tsunami sweep his father's car away.

I asked him about his mother. He said his house is right by the beach and
that his mother and little sister probably didn't make it. He turned his head and wiped his tears when I asked about his relatives.

The boy was shivering so I took off my police jacket and put it on him.
That's when my bag of food ration fell out. I picked it up and gave it to him. "When it comes to your turn, they might run out of food. So here's my portion. I already ate. Why don't you eat it?"

The boy took my food and bowed. I thought he would eat it right away, but
he didn't. He took the bag of food, went up to where the line ended and put it where all the food was waiting to be distributed.

I was shocked. I asked him why he didn't eat it and instead added it to
the food pile. He answered: "Because I see a lot more people hungrier than I am. If I put it there, then they will distribute the food equally."

When I heard that I turned away so that people wouldn't see me cry.

A society that can produce a 9-year-old who understands the concept of
sacrifice for the greater good must be a great society, a great people.

Well, a few lines to send you and your family my warm wishes. The hours
of my shift have begun again.
Subhanallah. If only we could instill such maturity and common-sense into the minds of our kindred generation.

It's hard to fathom that as kids, we often look up to our elders in search of inspiration and courage. But as adults, we forget that sometimes such qualities lie not on wisdoms of the wrinkled hands - but in the innocence of a smiling child.



Jazz Aziz said...

Jep, this is very touching. My prayer to the boys and the rest of the victims.

ieja_abu said...

subhanallah.great story.can i share this at my blog?thanks

JeP said...

Yes, feel free to share the wisdom eija! :)

Anonymous said...


That's why I always make you guys finish your food! There's still a lot of wastage home, in the office, at functions...wenever learn!....mama

Anonymous said...

i was inspired. thank you. may i share this too?

mamabosanz said...

sme2 sweet je ....;=))