I meet many people in my travels. I make friends everywhere I go. Some I never get to see or talk to again, and some I get to build strong bonds with. Bonds that last a lifetime. And even though I don’t get to see them as often as i’d like, I know what we shared was special, and I will carry the memories with me forever. You see, I was never the type of guy who went out all the time and made a ton of “friends”. I like to keep to myself most of the time.
Recently i’ve come to find that if you are truly genuine with people, look them in their heart, listen to their story and tell yours, you meet so many amazing individuals. Everybody has a story. Everybody is unique in one way or another. And slowly I started to believe. Believe that if you truly are genuine, and open your heart, you will attract people with hearts like yours. It goes without saying that traveling is the best way to meet new people. And through my travels, the people i’ve met have inspired me in one way or another. I can honestly say it’s had a big role in shaping me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
If you are looking to inspire or be inspired you first have to open your heart. You can find a piece of inspiration in everyone. If you know truly know how to look for it. And you can inspire people without ever trying. Just be yourself, tell your story, and be nice. Being inspired and inspiring others comes natural. It’s nothing you can force. But when it hits you, you will know, and you will appreciate.
In my most recent trip to the Maldives, I met a group of people I will carry in my heart for the rest of my time. It’s almost as if I had friends there and I didn’t even know it. I spent my time with the locals, and not in a 5 star resort. I saw how people live. I stayed in a 2 star hotel in Hulhumale amongst Maldivian people. That’s where I met Rasel…
Rasel was the guy who ran the modest “Star View Inn”. Along with his assistant Azizou. During my time there they were really nice to me and helped me with whatever I needed. But it wasn’t until my final hours that I actually sat down and had a genuine talk with Rasel. As we walked to a nearby ATM, Rasel shared his story with me. He is from Bangladesh. Has a wife, and a kid there. He had to leave them behind to find a job, so he can provide his family with food and medicine. Rasel works from 6 am to 1am. His wage is $200. A month. He sends $150 back to Bangladesh so his mom, wife, and 8 month old daughter can survive. The remaining $50 is my phone bill and cigarettes, he says.
His humble acceptance of his situation is remarkable. Thank God, he says. Even though he hasn’t seen his new born daughter for 6 months. And possibly wont until she is 2. Because he has to stay in the Maldives for that duration. Why the Maldives? It’s one of the only countries that welcomes citizens of Bangladesh. He has no social life. I can’t have fun, he says. Because then I have to spend money. If I spend my money, my daughter, mother, wife, will not have food or medicine.
Rasel pleaded for me to write an evaluation email of him to his boss. He says if his boss receives a good feedback of him, he will give him an extra $10 at the end of the month. Of course I wrote a nice email to his boss. But I knew that wasn’t much of a help. Even though he was forever grateful. I looked deep down and asked myself if there was anything I could do. Truly help someone that is in this situation.
I pulled Rasel to the side and asked him for his bank account info. I told him I will try send him $50 a month. I’m not rich, I said. But if I have extra money to spare, you and your family will be in my thoughts. His gratitude made me realize that this was what life was about. Maybe the 50 bucks I send will be of help. Not much of a help, but it’s something. In return I don’t want anything. Not from Rasel, not from God.
Do I feel like a saint? Fuck no.. I am nobody. My path crossed Rasel for a reason. God gave me an opportunity, a chance to do something positive, something good. I just saw that and took it. We all presented with different opportunities every single day. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look. And actually taking it when you realize it.
50 bucks isn’t much for me. But it is for Rasel. Maybe I will have to sacrifice eating out a few nights. But at least at the end of the day I know that maybe with this tiny gesture, his daughter has the food she needs to grow, the medicine to survive. And maybe, just maybe I can take some of the load off Rasels shoulders.
I think at the end of it all.. it’s all about how you treat others. Everyone prays for a better world, but who is doing what for that to happen?
This is why I never pray. I have nothing to pray for. God gave me everything I ever need and more. I feel selfish asking him for unnecessary things, praying for my life when there are people out there who need their prayers answered more than I do. Let their prayers be heard. In the mean time I can only say Thank You for everything I have been blessed with.