Nay Min Thu

changing the stars.. making the destiny.. writing the history.. leaving a legacy.. one step at a time..

Saturday, December 23, 2006

To be a Hero, we don't need to..

I had been looking for something meaningful to do this X'mas. And for me, nothing else could beat this:

Yesterday around 8pm, I was on an MRT train, going back home. I had gotten onto the train from City Hall station. As usual, the train was packed and all the seats were taken. So, I went on to stand near the doors at the opposite side, as those doors would open only at Raffles Place & Dover stations and I would have an easier time reading my newspaper with lesser in-coming traffic onto the train.

At Raffles Place station, the doors opened, and a small army of people rolled into the train. Among them was a lady in her early to mid 40s, with a walking stick. She seemed to be having trouble trying to find a little free space to stand on a crowded train, with her walking stick tapping on the floor. As it doesn't need an einstein brain to know that she is blind, I was dumbfounded to see a person like her, going around the town without any helper by her side. A string of thoughts ran through my mind at lightening speed: what if she tripped over? what if she got hurt? etc., etc., I was worried.

As the train was about to depart from the station, a kind soul sitting nearby, immediately realised the situation and offered her the seat. I couldn't continue reading my newspaper anymore.

She seemed grateful at the offer and sat at the seat quietly, staring at the floor. More thoughts came into my mind as I continued to observe her: how difficult life can be if everything you see is a blanket of darkness; how lucky we able-bodied people are; and how trivial we can sometimes be over insignificant things such as the color of clothes that we wear, the way our hair looks, etc..

Thought after thought and station after station, my mind came back to present moment when it was announced over the speakers that the train was approaching Clementi station. The lady slowly stood up from her seat and walked towards the doors. She was ready to alight. But the problem was that the doors on that side were not going to open but those on the other side were.

Gosh.. she wouldn't know unless someone told her the mistake. The train was about to come to a halt and the doors were about to open. At that split second, I made a quick decision and approached towards her. I tapped her on her elbow and said, "Aunty, I'll show you the way."

As I led her out of the train and onto the platform, she said a warm thank-you and politely asked me to take her to the lift. As we were taking down the lift, I asked her where she was going. She said she would be going to the bus interchange. And she asked me if I lived around the area. At that point, I told her a white lie by saying yes. (I live near Lakeside station. I was afraid that she would decline my help.) I offered to walk her to the interchange.

And we got outside the control station and walked through the over-head link towards the interchange. At the end of the link, there were a lift and a staircase to the ground floor. I suggested we take the lift. But she insisted that we take the staircase and assured me that she would be ok.

Indeed, to my surprise, she had no difficulty climbing down the staircase. I just needed to guide her, and she didn't even need to use her walking stick. I guess she had memorised every single step of the staircase! (Life can be very cruel to some people. But those people who have the strongest will, simply do not know the meaning of giving up. They make do with what they have, instead of focusing on what they don't have. They are a great inspiration to all of us.. and one of them is Dr William Tan. I will write about him in another post..)

As we got down to the ground floor and were about to turn into the interchange, I realised that they were doing renovation at the interchange, and it had been moved to another place across the street. (I had not been to Clementi for so long and I didn't know the interchange had been moved.)

We chatted along the way to the interchange. She asked me about myself, about what I was doing, etc. From the way she talked, I could see that she was a very nice person. As we were entering the interchange, she said she would be taking bus no. 282. By the time we were at 282 stand, the bus had arrived just in time. I then helped her board the bus. She said thank-you again, tapped her ez link card and sat down at a seat near the entrance. We said good-bye, and I asked the bus driver to help her down when she alighted. The driver nodded at me with a smile. I looked at her the last time and got off the bus. And I watched the bus slowly driving away.

I was sure that she would be ok. Although she can't see a thing, I found a glimpse of hope, courage and strength in her eyes. She may be blind, but she's got all the reasons to live her life to the fullest.. to dream.. to hope.. She is an inspiration to all those around her.. to do their best.. to never give up..

There is another lesson I have learnt from this:

To be a hero, we don't need to jump from building to building; nor defuse a nuke bomb; nor fly with clouds between our knees; nor have super strength; nor be indestructible. To be a hero, we just need to have a little compassion for other people in our daily lives.

Merry X'mas to everyone!!



At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good deeds !!
I do appreciate it .


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