Keep Hope Alive
Keep Hope Alive

The yellow leaves are shaken by the wind. The winter seems to have arrived earlier than anticipated. On the street, people are rushing their steps trying to avoid the winter blast.

Under a tree whose branches almost brush the ground, on an old bench, a hoary homeless beggar is resting his drained body. His garments look like they were new in the previous century. The boots protecting his crippled feet are exposing his toes, hooded by a pair of used old socks. The old man’s shoulders seem to bear the entire heaviness of this world. The mournful beggar’s face captivates me; there is so much sadness behind his eyes that you feel abashed even smiling around him.

People are almost running on the street; each one is thinking of his own problems. No one notices under the tree, on an old bench, the beggar whose sad eyes are seeing everyone.

I shift my eyes from looking at him, and while scrutinizing the street, I see a little girl with her father walking. Her small right-hand rests in his big palm. In her left hand, she is holding a sandwich that seems to be so tasty. The little girl looks satiated already.

She is laughing and talking non-stop. Her father’s gaze is fixed on her pretty little face while his feet find a way to continue crossing the street.

The little girl chatters but suddenly stops. Her cute face does not move, and her eyes become enlarged trying to grasp what she was seeing. Her little feet stopped dead their childish hops forcing her father to halt also.

They stopped near the tree whose branches almost brush the ground, where the old beggar is resting his body on an old bench.

The sadness on the old man’s face shifts into a new frame. Now you can see only his hunger. A huge, deep, complete hunger revealed itself, in the old man’s eyes. His sad eyes are staring at the pretty girl’s little hand caring the big uneaten sandwich.

The girl looks astonished. The sadness that only a moment ago was covering the old man’s face now conveys into the little girl’s eyes. So little, she could not yet understand what it means to be so hungry, but she could sense his longing. She could not grasp the depth of the beggar’s desire. The little girl does not understand what is happening right there in front of her green eyes. But, she knows only what her still pure heart is whispering.

The little girl moved her gaze up to her father’s eyes, with an effort similar to a hypnotized person who must step aside from the hypnotist’s powerful influence. Her father’s face was smiling as his chin made a move interpreted by the little girl as an approval for whatever she wanted to do.

She quickly detached her small right hand from her father. Her feet carried her body under the tree, closer to where the old bench seats the starring beggar. Her small left hand rose to the level of the beggar’s shoulder. With a pure heart still untouched by human society, she offered to give him her sandwich.

The three involved pairs of eyes have now completely changed their outlook.

The little girl’s green eyes are smiling, simultaneously telling anyone watching that there still exists hope in this world.

The old man’s sad and hungry eyes could see a ray of light through his tears caused not by the clouds but by a sliver of hope that still exists in his heart.

The father’s smiling eyes are now absorbed with tears from watching his daughter’s act of kindness, for bringing hope in the old beggar’s eyes.

Likewise, from not so far away, my eyes witnessed the whole scene. And while tears of joy inundated my eyes, the hope for a better world also arose in my heart… I was wondering… hoping to acknowledge… What do we lack to keep Hope alive?

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