Sitting at traffic light in a rickshaw, in the polluted air of an Indian city, my eyes fell upon the poor and desolate living on the road side. Inches away from the dirty tires and deafening engines of old motors there were innumerable children scanning the traffic for people who may give charity.
A man and women, clearly emaciated, were asleep or passed out under a ragged canopy. The children around them were mostly girls and although they didn't seem to have a specific task to do they did look busy except for one very small and incredibly cute child less than two years old. Round faced, massive smile, wearing only a stained, once white vest and trying to make eye contact with anyone she could.
She picked up a tin cup and dipped it into a larger pot. Smiling with every movement and constantly looking up and babbling to her presumed audience, she poured the contents over her curly dark hair. It appeared to be the last of the dregs of food in the family pot. As sticky sludge slid down her face she began to play out the act of washing.
Playing to her theatre of thousands she looked out to the world for confirmation that she had done a good thing.
There was no adult (or even child) to guide this little girl who only wanted to please; a child who only understands the process of washing and not the meaning. An underfed child who did not know the importance of the food she wasted in her game. A child who saw the world without knowing the world did not see her.
I learned humility from a two year old and that image has never left me.
Submitted by Anonymous
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