brown ugly water gushed out of its bank and spilled onto the road causing a thigh-deep flood in front of my apartment. it is fast and fierce. and it doesn’t seem to stop any time soon.
“how can others talk about munching their first indian bites, reading for exams or going to the beach when all we see around us are sandbags, closed doors, scared people and that brown ugly water?” the truth is – life still goes on no matter what happens. it isn’t that people are indifferent. it’s just us, human. we can never understand or emphatize with people how devastating a certain circumstance can be unless it happens to us. we can never truly appreciate what we have unless we are losing hold of it. life is too precious. and we are busy with our own pursuits. it takes a disaster: hurricane, tsunami, earthquake or flood, to wake us up to what really matters.
yesterday, i was wading through the thick water for most of the part. i bought a pair of turquoise boots. lovely. 🙂 i went scouting with my friend from work and took a lot of flood pictures. then in the afternoon, i had to wade even higher water back to my house from railway station. that was a long and hard workout. i feel every muscle on my toes now. the water rapidly increased in just a few hours. 12 compassion staff have been affected by the flood. some of them are now staying at hotels around town. compassion projects and children’s houses are also affected.
i didn’t expect myself to feel desperate. but as i waded through the water alone on my way home, i wished i was walking with a friend. i entered a mobile phone shop, asking if i could borrow his charger, because my cell’s battery was dead. i needed to call my mom to let her know that i wasn’t stuck in any gutters or drowning in the flood. so i walked in, told the owner my desire and said that i could pay him for whatever it would cost to charge a battery. he reached his hand to grab a charger in a package and i saw “190 baht” on the box. i said, “no, no, sir. i don’t have that much money (which was true. i had only 250 baht in my pocket at the moment). i’d like to borrow one of your old chargers if you had to make quick calls”. with softness in his eyes, he replied, “daughter, use it as long as you need. i know it’s urgent. don’t worry about money at all”. my throat caught…and i had to choke back tears at the unexpected kindness. it opened my eyes to see that we, human, have that source of kindness within our tanks. it usually doesn’t surface up very often. but when it does, it is powerful and overwhelming.
life goes on for all of us no matter what happens. when life comes down to almost nothing, all we can offer to one another is not success, power, social status or wealth. yes, those factors can be useful when we want to help others. but it has to come from the heart…and that is kindness, mercy, compassion and love.
i will upload pictures of the flood tonight. stay tuned.