I believe that most of us have this experience where you will see disable people waiting in front of some shops, or they will approach you while you are having lunch or dinner. I do not know about you but for me I always have this thoughts that I will classified them as same group as the beggar’s gang or organization where they go around to get money from you, which means they cheat our money.
There is one time during dinner time in Seri Kembangan, There is a person without a leg carried an amplifier with him together blasting music and sing karaoke with a mic. That is one of the rare time that I gave, and it even also because of John ask me to give. I turn down another time of giving when there is one cripple man try to sell some bookmarks that made by himself I because I always confuse whether are they genuine or trying to cheat from us. I never try to listen to their story even once.
Until few days ago, I went to Public Bank in Taipan. I saw this familiar man on wheel chair waiting in front of the bank selling pens. The first time I saw him was 1 month ago, I only had RM5 in my pocket and I quite broke at that time. And the usual me thought that he is carrying some donation box and leave me some suspicious impression at first. But things gets interesting when I saw one guy tried to gave him some token of money and he refuse to take it, and I thought this is something that I never see before. So I went to try to give him my RM5 (the only money I left).
” Sorry mam, I can’t take your money. If you want to buy the pen it cost RM10.”
“I do not have change, I only have RM5 with me”
“Its ok, you can buy next time. I will be here all the time” Then I walked away feeling confused. (Is there really somebody like him? Not taking money?)
And he is there again. I went to him and try another time, this time I gave him RM1 (that’s because I have RM1 and RM100 with me).
He tells me the same thing, rejecting my RM1 and this time I hand him RM100 and ask whether he has change. I waited for him while he is looking around in his pocket and finally give me the RM90 change.
I stopped and chat with him a while and for the first time I listen to his story.
He has been on wheel chair for 6 years. First year he lay at home doing nothing, second year he join Spinal Cord Training Center learning to be independent. And now he own a car specially made for disable people and able to transport around all by himself. He stayed in Rawang and going over all places to sell pens. He said that selling pen is just to earn daily expenses, while his main job is to train and teach other disable people to be independent. Sometimes he will asked to give a speech invited by his friends as his freelance job.
I asked him if he would do selling in night market it would be easier to generate income, but I did not know that it is very a difficult task for him because he has to set up the tables which is very difficult and need to hire people to help him. So selling pen this way is much easier for him.
” The income usually good when comes to first week and last week of the month because people are getting their payroll while 2nd and 3rd week more quiet. The peak hour usually start from 9.30am to 11am when the banks start to be very busy, after that will be slower. And I usually stay up until 8pm then only go back home”
“The reason why I am not taking your money is because I do not want to be an example for other disable people to get lazy money. I want to teach others to get money by work for it. I value myself very much that I wish to help others as well. Is good that today I am able to share this message to you and you can share this message to few more of your friends.”
Lastly before I left, we both exchange our contacts. He gave me his name card, he has other business such as introduce people to wiring installation, office equipment/stationery, spinal cord patient training and selling decorative accessories.
I am glad that I stopped to listen to his story. This incident really taught me something valuable, that those on the street who are selling stuff are really their hard earning job.
And I wish next time I will give more time to listen to others story.
How about you? I hope this will leave something for you to think through. Instead of rejecting them, why not give a little help and maybe listen to them for just one time?