My daily jogging is now changed into jogging on alternate days. I run at least 3km every other day, sometimes 5km and I plan to extend the route into 6km and keep it that way for a while. Today I did 5km but didn’t feel enough because I didn’t sweat as much as before. Next time I will wear my wrist watch so that I can time my speed.
Now back to the topic of this post.
Many times when I return from my jogging, I saw a middle-aged woman combing through garbage bins. Once I saw her bending her upper body into the trunk of the garbage cart and digging. Obviously she collects recyclable things and sells them to make a living.
I took pity on her because it is such a ghastly job and I cannot imagine how I can endure it if I were her. Imagine the smell and all kinds of nasty things you may find inside piles of garbage contained in plastic bags. What if I am in her position, how would I change my fate? Presumably nobody wants to do such a kind of job, even the most dedicated ascetic would shun away from this way of living.
If I were this woman, would I be tied down to this job forever, busying feeding myself, and never have a chance to escape? Most probably? Would I be able to squeeze out some spare time and learn different skills at the age of 50? Would I quit that nasty job and become a dish washer or street sweeper? Would I so hate myself that I would plunge into the sea in the stormed weather? Or my mind would be so numbed that I don’t even pity myself or care nothing other than the garbage harvesting?
I do not know the answers. I wish I could see the woman’s life to this point on a screen so that I could draw some lessons.
Today, when I entered my neighborhood and saw her again, I suddenly had his idea: what if I am God, what can I do to change her miserable life?
My immediate thought is make her life even worse off and utterly desperate so that she can be galvanized into taking some drastic measures to change her life. Then I can help her and decorate her new path with more opportunities and pleasant surprises. I know giving her more garbage to harvest will not make her life better, and only when she has nothing to lose, she will try to seek a different path and only at that time my help will not become charity.
In one sense, I am no different from the garbage woman. Do I dare to break away from my current and start a new one?
My judgement on the woman who collects garbage is merely and completely conjured in my mind, and it does not reflect her true state of mind and living style. She may be a perfectly happy woman with a very fulfilling life. After all, nobody can say guarantee that an emperor lives better than a peasant.