Thursday, April 12, 2012

Priceless Five Dollars

Thursday, April 12, 2012  at 11:55 PM

I own a valuable five-dollar bill. It is special and I plan not to spend it. I believe that this bill is beyond the value it displays on its paper... It is very priceless. 

After getting off the train, I saw a bus that was almost leaving. Based on my timetable, that was my ride. I went up the bus and gave my ticket to the driver. He ticked it off and then asked where I was going. I said the street name and he said "Oh dear... Sorry, I'm not going that route. You'd have to wait for the next bus. Sorry... " 

I went down and headed to the bench at the bus stop. I noticed a lady sitting there, also waiting for the next bus. I was curious as to what time the next bus was, so I checked the timetable posted on the pole there. Before I can even find what I was looking for, the lady was beside me, looking at the timetable too. 

"Did you get off from that last bus?" she asked.

"Yes, but that was the wrong bus, so I have to wait for the next one..." I answered back politely, facing her and noticing that she was probably a Macedonian and in her 50s. Somehow, she reminded me of my mother.

She looked at me, and with a worried face, she asked, "Did you notice a bag somewhere on that bus?"

"I'm so sorry, I did not see a bag..." I replied with sympathy.

She sighed. "I don't know what to do now..." 

I can feel her disappointment. I started to think how she can get it back. I looked at the timetable and saw the hotline of the bus company.

"Do you have a mobile?" I asked.

"I left my mobile at home." she answered worriedly. 

I took out my mobile and started dialling. I knew that the next bus I needed to catch was arriving in a few minutes, but I decided to just take the second bus if I missed this one, because with the lady having no mobile at all, I knew I won't be able to contact her for further instructions from the bus company.

I talked to the operator, telling her that there was a lady who forgot her bag. I answered all the information needed through the account of the lady. The operator then asked if the lady has a mobile, and I said "No..." The operator then told me to tell the lady to go home and that they will just contact her through her home number for further updates. I gave the lady's home number, and then thanked the operator for the help. 

As soon as the call ended, my bus arrived. I gave the lady the final instructions, and said that I had to go. 

"Thank you so much. You are a big help... Nobody would have helped me if you were not here."

She suddenly took my hand and placed something in it... I saw a five-dollar bill. I immediately tried returning it back.



"Thank you so much, but I can't accept this..." I told her, trying to give it back. She wouldn't accept it and kept pushing me softly towards the bus, reassuring me that it was fine.

"Please... Take it, please... You have done too much. This is not even enough to pay you back for the help that you have done. You are a wonderful child... People like you are rare..." she said softly, tapping my back. 

She walked behind me as I went up the bus, still trying to give it back. She tapped my back and said, "Please... This is my only way of repaying your kindness... It's not even enough... Please accept it..." 

I sighed and smiled softly, "You didn't have to, but thank you so much... "

She decided to go home, so she was riding the same bus with me. When I entered the bus, I found myself a seat. After a few seconds, she was heading towards me, and decided to sit beside me.

I smiled at her, and then remembered to give her the hotline of the bus company in case she wanted updates. I wrote down the telephone number and the bus number on her ticket, as well as the time when it left from that certain stop, so that the company can track down the bus. I gave the ticket back to her, and she placed it back inside her wallet.

She looked at me with a smile, "You are a very kind person. I appreciate what you have done. I am really happy. It is really rare to meet people like you who would help just like that. I can't believe you helped me. God bless you." 

"Thank you so much... I really hope that you would receive your bag soon." I smiled. At the same time, I couldn't help but admire her words. I did not know that she appreciated my help that much--that it meant a lot for her.

She sighed, "I really hope so. I worked so hard this morning, cleaning and everything. On my way home, I saw these boots. I bought them, and now, I left them on the bus. Such a bad luck... But thank you for being a blessing..."

She tapped my cheek softly like a mother would do to her child when there's appreciation.

She continued, "I have two daughters. Just like you. I was very strict with them when they were young, and now they like helping other people. They would come home and tell me that they helped an old lady. It makes me happy. They grew up kind... "

When she was narrating, I can see that she was teary. Alongside that, I can sense that she was proud of her daughters.

"Just like you..." she added.

Her words were really touching and profound. I never received that kind of appreciation before from a stranger. It was all new to me. She was really appreciative, and that brightened up my day. It was also rare to find people like her who would appreciate a simple help so much.

"What you did was really thoughtful. That was how I wanted my daughters to make other people feel. I am happy..." she said, tapping me on my shoulder.

I couldn't help but admire this lady. She was a very grateful and appreciative person, blessed with amazing daughters. She was truly blessed. 

My stop was coming up, and I pressed the "Stop" button.

"Thank you so much... You are a really kind person too. Your daughters are lucky to have a wonderful mother like you. I need to go down now, but I hope you can get your bag back..." I said with a hopeful tone. 

She stood up to give way to me. I walked out of the seat we shared, and said goodbye to her. 

"Thank you again... God bless you, child!" she said as I smiled and walked out of the bus.

I crossed the street, and could not stop thinking about the lady, wishing her the best to get the bag back with the hard-earned boots. At the same time, her gratefulness amazed me. Based on what she was telling me, what I did really affected her so much, because the value behind the act I was able to show was a value she treasured so much. This was what she wanted her daughters to do, and she was able to receive what she wanted to share through me. I, too, am grateful to her for making me part of what she wanted to happen-- to spread love through simple acts of kindness.


The way she valued my help was priceless, and the five-dollar bill symbolised this. She may say that it was not enough to repay me, but for me, it was more than enough, because its value was not limited by the number written on it-- she gave me a bill that symbolised the priceless happiness given to me through her appreciation, and the happiness I may have given her too. We valued each other, and were grateful to have crossed each other's path. 

Do not hesitate to help, because you do not know how much you can make a difference to the other person. If you received help, do not hesitate to say "thank you", because you do not know how much you can make a difference to the other person as well. Happiness becomes a two-way appreciation, and that is the best kind of happiness that can truly complete people. The GOLDEN RULE is proven true.


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6 Travelers with Comments. Click to comment!:

Nice stephie... of course innate na sating mga Pinoy yan... hope everyone does that too...

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Inspiring post.God bless you.

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a true heart of a pinoy :) God bless te Steph :)

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naalala ko tuloy yung isang show sa US yung what would you do?

naisip ko tuloy kung ganito din ba yung klase ng appreciation na nababalik ko sa mga tumutulong sa akin.

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Awww... Great atory Ate Steph. This is really inspiring. God will bless you even more!

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Wow. I have this soft-spot with elderly woman, I kinda relate it with my being a mama's boy. Hehe.

I know ever since of your kind heart Steph, and this post just inspired thousands of your readers. If they don't, I'm sure there's something wrong with them. LOL.

Cheers!

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