That poor (rich) boy on the street
He hasn’t been happier in his life than this day. Everything he ever wished was his. Work life was rocking- the glass corner office with a view, a big fat bonus that had just hit his account, the next level in the organisation; it was a perfect 10 for him at work. The euphoria in his love life was at the peak too. Workout schedule at the gym was perfectly synced. Health, money, family, friends, everything was so wonderfully aligned. He was in his happiest and the most fulfilled point of his life, until now.
Having achieved so much, his mind was filled with grand plans and ideas. There was not a single dull moment when he wouldn’t have something going in his head. There were streams of anticipation and happy thoughts pouring in from every corner of his brain. Only if you could scan his neuroanatomy, you would see liberal doses of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin filling him up.
Just when he was rejoicing the high and waiting for her at an open, highstreet coffee shop, he saw this boy in his early teens, helping his ‘seemingly looking poor and struggling’ father deliver Water Cans to restaurants on the street. This was a sudden break in the stream of success driven emotions and the euphoric high. From some deeply hidden memory trace in the subconscious, suddenly arose an emotion of lack and pity. Despite trying hard, he was unable to quash it. As the feeling (that he had forgotten since a while now) grew stronger, he started wondering how difficult life would be for the boy. So shadowed and layered was his mind with all the success and abundance that his identification with all he had achieved became his perceived need for life, existence and survival. He couldn’t hold himself from thinking of his past struggles and days of misery.
He was born in an affluent family but to quarrelling parents. While there was always more than enough required for good living, his parents were constantly quarrelling and struggling to make the relationship work. He missed growing up with a strong and emotionally rooted affiliation. This sowed the seed of the underlying sense of lack, self-pity and dependence on material luxury and outward gratification. He had never known self worth & reliance and the Joy of being. Happiness to him always came from outside.
As the emotion of pity for the boy grew stronger, so did his desire to speak with the boy and find a way out to help him. He could see a glimpse of his past emotional misery in the boy that had left him feeling helpless many a times. The power from his recently achieved abundance was flexing and pushing him to talk to him. He decided to do so, not knowing, his life was about to change 360degrees after meeting him.
There was still some time before she’d reach the coffee shop, so he stood up and walked towards him. “How are you doing today?”, he asked just as an elder brother would. The boy turned back to look right into his eyes. “I’m doing really great! thank you so much”, the boy replied. There was a strong reflection of contentment and poise in the boy’s eyes. It pierced deep into him and for a moment, he froze. He completely forgot what he was there for. So strong and sorted was the boy’s gaze that it shook him deep inside. It took him a while to regain his point of presence. Smiling back warmly, he said, “We are looking for water supplies at my workplace. I see you delivering Water cans here. Are you are looking for some more business around here? I’m happy to understand your terms and we can get started”. The boy smiled and was delighted with the prospects of more business. “My father has gone to settle some accounts with the restaurant owner and I am waiting for him until he returns”, the boy replied. He was happy to hear that. This is exactly what he was looking for, a window to speak with the boy for a while. “Great!”, he said. “Let’s wait for him to return. Would you like to have some sandwich and coffee?”.
“No, thanks much.. we just had our lunch”, the boy replied with a smile.
There was something with the boy’s smile that drew him to his calmness. While he wanted to speak with the boy and find a way to help him someway, he now felt that the boy had something much more worthy and meaningful to show him.
Him: “You don’t go to school to study?” The boy: “No, I’m helping my father build our lost business. His partner cheated him and robbed him off his savings. We are trying to hold the fort together now for our family. He needs a helping hand and can’t afford to hire someone at this point in time. Hence…”. He saw an opportunity of helping the boy here. “Oh! that really sad to hear. I’m really sorry. While I am looking forward to speaking with your father and giving him some business, can I help you someway?” he said to the boy. “That’s very kind of you to ask. Your giving business to us would be a great help. I believe that’s more than we can ever ask for”, said the boy. Him: “Well, more business is definitely coming to you. But you can feel free and tell me, I am happy to help your family, in any way that would make you happy. We can settle it later and you can payback, if you wish. But allow me to…”
The boy smiled, looked at him and said, “Sir, this is really very kind of you. But I’d like to tell you that despite losing all the material wealth and business to a fraudster, my family and I are good. We have an apartment with a bedroom, a hall and a kitchen- for the five of us. It’s not a BIG house, but it’s good enough to keep us warm, dry, happy and together. We don’t have another family car. This delivery truck is our family commute. It isn’t the most luxurious we have had from the past, but it does the job well. My mother recovered from a critical illness. Had she not, the cost of medical care would have been over half a million dollar. Everyone in our family is enjoying good health. We realize the worth of living a healthy life. While our mind and body are in good health, we utilize every opportunity to live and enjoy this glory. There may be reasons for us to complain but there are always more reasons for us to rejoice. The riches outside may be infinite, but they won’t serve any good if there is inner poverty. My father and I are working really hard to build what we lost. As long as we continue to do so and our spirits stay high and alive, we are good and we will reach there.
It is really nice of you to have asked. If you really want to help my family and me, you can do so by serving a community cause. Rather than mindlessly investing ourself for life to amass amounts of material wealth, we must make time for ourselves and our community. A man’s needs are finite but his greed is insatiable. I’d be happy if you come and contribute to the community”
He had no words to say. He realised, he was living a life of outer riches and inner poverty. He had gained the world but was losing his soul. The never-ending, constant chatter of mind and pursuit of happiness was taking him away from his being and the joy of stillness. That poor (rich) boy from the street had just taught him the biggest secret of living life.
Peace to all 🙂