As we walked along the Busaiteen coast this evening, we spotted this man picking out empty fizzy drink cans and bottles from trash bins and putting them into a tattered plastic bag hanging on his rickety bicycle. And when we walked back, he was spotted sitting on a bench, looking completely exhausted and forlorn. I took a picture from far away using the zoom and wanted to speak with him as we passed. But something held me back. But as we passed him, he gave the widest of grins and greeted us with a very cheerful As-Salaam-Alaikum (the Islāmic greeting), even as he waved to a passer-by riding an expensive SUV.
Made me wonder how someone who looked so exhausted and had seemingly given up on his fate, could be so cheerful and greet anyone who passed by. For someone who possibly eked out a living selling trash, this is, indeed, a heroic effort. Hat’s off to his undying spirit. We have lessons to learn from the likes of him!