It was in the morning last month when a dirty boy that seems to be working in a construction site entered the bus together with a man. He was carrying a large woven bag and then sat on the last empty seat of the said vehicle while the man stood next to him. After a while, a pregnant lady entered the bus.
As a generous gesture, the boy quickly stood up and offered his seat to the pregnant lady. Disgust was plastered on the lady’s face, disdainfully glancing at the dirty boy and remaining quiet. Seeing her reaction, the boy carefully put his woven bag on the floor and wiped the seat with a tissue paper from his pocket. The boy smiled and said, “Ma’am, I have cleaned the seat for you. There is no more dirt left.” All the passengers on the bus were staring at them. The pregnant lady felt ashamed so she hesitantly sat on the seat the boy had provided.
As the boy picks up his woven bag on the floor, the bus driver suddenly put the brakes on causing the delicate boy to stagger.
He almost fell down but he kept his grasp to his woven bag. An old woman who was sitting near the boy felt pity for him and praised him, “You are such a good boy.”
The boy slightly smiled and then said, “Ma’am, I am not really a good boy. My mother used to tell me that I cared too much of what others thought of me. However, I am now as brave as Forrest Grump.”
The mother of the boy was a teacher in their village located in the countryside. She made him watch the movie, Forrest Gump. What he has learned from the inspirational movie is that he should be brave enough to stop caring of what others think of him and focus instead on making his own path. “Where is your mother?” The old lady asked the boy. The boy suddenly became emotional, tears are evident in his eyes. He answered, “My mother is inside the bag.” The old lady was surprised by his answer. Other passengers started to feel discomfort too due to his unexpected response.
The man who had been standing next to the boy broke the silence and finally talked. He said, “I am his uncle. His father crosses heaven a few years ago because of an illness. His mother raised him alone. She was working as a teacher in our village and was highly respected by the local people.”
According to the man, in order to be able to provide the needs of her son, in the school’s summer vacation the mother decided to work in a construction site. She brought the boy with her while working. As the new school year was about to start, they had already intended to go back in their village soon. Unfortunately, on his mother’s last day at the construction, she was hit by a heavy steel bar and did not make it. What the boy was referring inside the woven bag is her mother’s ash in an urn.
The old lady could not stop her tears from falling, and asked: “Will the boy continue with his studies?”
The man shook his head and the boy replied: “I go to the bookshop near the construction site every day to read books.” The rest of the passengers were deeply moved by the boy’s hardships. Many of them want to donate and send books to him at home. “Stop caring what others would think of you, be brave enough to make your own path.”
The boy made it. He has a painstaking and wise mother. Whatever circumstances he may face along the way, he will always have the courage to meet his goals and achieve his dreams. Because of poverty, many people today have low self-esteem, but the boy’s mother reminded his son to never feel inferiority just because they are poor. She raised and taught him instead to be positive towards other’s criticisms.