What you can start with two pesos

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By Marc Lopez

Magnificent Mondays

Monday, June 23, 2014


BENJIE was feeling a bit hungry. The seven-year-old was out in the streets, hoping someone could give him money to buy lunch. All he had was two pesos. If no one gave him any money that day, he would at least have enough to buy him a pandesal (a small piece of bread).

He walked aimlessly along the streets of Butuan City (four hours from Davao City). He noticed a group unloading small plastic bags filled with rice and canned goods from a small truck into a makeshift office.

He listened to their conversation. Among them was a teenager taking a gulp from a water bottle. He wondered why she wasted her money to buy water. Why not drink from the faucet for free? Fifteen pesos for water! That could buy him three cups of rice to last him the whole day! As if to confirm his thoughts, Benjie could hear his stomach grumbling. “We are sending two trucks to Tacloban via RORO (roll-on/roll-off) tomorrow. The typhoon victims need all the help they can get. Even just a peso!”

Benjie saw pictures on the wall of how Typhoon Yolanda devastated Tacloban. He saw some photos of kids crying. He thought to himself, “I know I’m poor. But these kids are worst off. They don’t even have a nanay anymore to complain to.”

Without hesitation, Benjie walks to the donation table and takes out the two shiny coins in his pocket. Points to the picture on the wall and says, “For them, Ma’am.” Somehow the joy of giving silenced his grumbling stomach.

Unknown to Benjie, his simple act of generosity inspired 10-year-old Christopher, who saw his story on TV, living in another island 600 kilometers away.

That was last November.

Just this weekend, Christopher’s mom explains to him that they are joining a fun run organized by the Jump Start Intervention Center to increase autism awareness and to raise funds for the Kalipay Foundation who assists abused children (if you want to get in touch with any of these foundations, you may email me at lamblightedu@yahoo.com.ph).

Christopher gets his piggy bank, unloads all the money in it…and asks his mom to donate it to Kalipay. Asked what inspired him to donate “his money,” he says it’s the street kid who donated two pesos.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Christopher puts up his own foundation to bless more people someday. And I am reminded that: big things begin as something small.

What is a small thing you can start today? Perhaps, introduce prayer in the office at the start of the day. Say “Thank you” to the jeepney driver or the janitor that sweeps your office clean. Or place a smiley icon at the end of your text messages? Or maybe read a bible story to street kids every Sunday morning?

Do you have two pesos? Start a small, nice thing today. Be blessed as you bless.

Choose to have a magnificent Monday!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 23, 2014.

Lifestyle

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