When I read this post on my friend’s Facebook, it touched me so deeply that I asked her if it’s ok to share it here with everyone. Let me introduce my dear friend, she’s very smart, she writes eloquently beautiful – I really think she should become a writer – she’s a proud mother of two…her name is Erita Mann and this is her story:
A Child’s World (The Boy Who Begged For Food in The Street of Jakarta)
I spent three hours from 9 AM to 12 PM today staying with my son on his first trial day on Pre School. I watched him studying in the classroom, I watched him playing in the playground, I watched him having lunch with other kids his age. I also watched all other kids happy faces while they are playing, studying and eating. I saw no sorrows, I saw no problems, I saw no fears, I saw no hatred. All happy faces with smiles enjoying their childhood. That’s what being kid is all about.
I was sitting on a bench at the school playground during break time watching the kids playing and my mind was wandering of a lifetime experience I will never forget…
It was around 9 O’clock at night, the traffic was pretty bad on Jl. Gatot Subroto (one of main street in Jakarta). A little boy about 7 years old knocked on the window of my car. He’s a beggar, singing a song I could not understand the lyric. With no doubt or fear I rolled down my car window so I could hear his little voice. When he stopped singing I handed him a Rp. 10,000 (about $1). He shook his head weakly and asked if he could get the McDonald’s meal box I put on my car’s dash board instead. He said he is hungry and only had one meal that day. I froze for a second, trying to absorb what I just heard. I then handed him the meal that I haven’t touched and reached for a Rp. 50,000 bill from my purse. All I could think of was giving him more money. He refused the money, he said he’s just hungry. I told him to take the money and put it on his almost ripped pocket shirt. He smiled, he bowed and thanked me then he walked away from my car. I was watching his back as he walked away just to realized he had a big hole on the back of his dirty looking shirt and he’s barefeet.
I cried quietly inside my car, all alone. Feeling hopeless not being able to help that child more. While other kids are snuggling with their parents at home or sleeping peacefully, that boy is working at night, singing songs from car to car in the busy street of Jakarta and only had one meal that day. I have never seen that boy again since but I could never forget the expression on his face when he told me he’s hungry and would rather have McDonald meal than the money.
Life is not fair for that boy. While he supposed to be loved and enjoying his childhood and not to worry about what to eat , he has to work from day to night, trying to survive in the cruelness of a big city like Jakarta.
Tonight my son is sleeping quietly in his room, and tomorrow he will be ready to explore another great day in his life. The boy I met that night eight years ago will be eight years older now. Wherever he is, I hope he is in much better situation and condition. God Bless you child.