The eyes of a beggar filled with sadness as he looks away from the strategically placed plastic cup in the middle of the busy road, saving what’s left of his dignity for when he’ll overcome this bump in his life.

As a coin of currency hits the depth of the cup, mingling with the other coins that were either dropped the same way or left to save the beggar’s face, his eyes lit as if praised and he smiles to the recognition of his being in that busy road.

His shield of an overly worn coat did not hide his truth, he was dependent on feelings. Monetary strength was not his issue, though obviously needed, he wanted more to be seen and visible. He learnt to place the cup more and more to the centre to be seen, for people to trip on it to acknowledge his presence and hopefully adhere to instructions that were invisible but known when a cup was placed on the road.

A coin dropped and I realised, I was a beggar too.

“Man will never be stronger nor independent if he lives under perpetual motivation of others.” ~ Toba Beta

My cup was tilting with the work I have done through my school years, college and career. I sometimes had to put it up high in the air for it to be seen and to get some coins from those whom opinions I felt mattered.

When I got a coin in those classrooms, offices, desks, meetings or casual encounters I felt on top of the world. But as I hear that coin sometimes being flicked in some pockets, reluctant to leave the owner’s keys of power; I felt tremendous disappointment…with myself.

“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” ~ John Dryden

An encounter too recent to ignore reiterated this scenario, as I was begging for a description of my amazing accomplishment, hoping it’ll even go on to illustrate how ravishing the end journey will be. Although beautiful marbles were placed in my cup, I did not see them as I was too busy wondering why no coins made it in even though I worked so hard.

I realised then that I was weary of this habit and my dignity screamed ‘I do not want to depend on them for my worth!’. As though agreeing, the marbles shined to tickle my eyes into smiling.

“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.”  ~ Laurie Halse Anderson

That day, I threw the cup away and practiced I am not a beggar.

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” ~ Harry S. Truman

%d bloggers like this: