Thursday, December 16, 2010


Jesus, a Hispanic hunched back old man with one eye, rides his bike to and from work every day and smiles to everyone he passes by.

One day I sat down with him at the bank where I work, after observing him making deposits for his boss on daily basis for months. I was excited to finally have the opportunity to get to know him and ask him about his story and the secret of his happiness. He told me, in broken English and thick Spanish accent, a heartbreaking story that started with his dream of going back to school to improve his English language then to learn the real estate business. He wanted to help the hispanic community find and purchase houses to make them home. Jesus, a name that sounds like Hesoos, had a lot of difficulties in his youth and on top of dropping out of school at a very young age to work to support his family, he got involved in some tragic incidents that cost him losing his eye, which in turn, cost him the ability to drive a car and limited his work opportunities to either walking distances or biking and riding buses. And since the day has only 24 hours and there was only so much Jesus could do, his dreams were crashed.

Jesus not only smiles to you whenever your eyes meet, If you happen to be behind him entering any place, he would hold the door for you without waiting for your "thank you". If you happen to arrive at the same time, he would not walk in before you do. He says hello to everyone, people he knows and people he doesn't. But the cool thing about him, he doesn't wait for you to greet him back. He will say hello whether you will meet his salute with kindness or with rudeness. Your reaction to his actions does not take away from the wonderful man he is.

I guess what's amazing about Jesus is his ability to accept his new reality and not taking his story and his past as an excuse to turn himself into a bitter man. Even though he looks like an old, tired, weak and broken man, he's not. His spirit is free, and that's what makes him soar above all the stress and meaningless battles that we think we're surviving.

After I gave Jesus a copy of his account information, I asked him about the future. He smiled and said to me that we worry too much. I said aren't you afraid of being alone. He said that being alone is not the worst thing that can happen. He participates in a lot of volunteer work for his community and he might be alone, but he doesn't feel lonely.

Jesus had to leave, and though my questions scratched only the surface of what I wanted to ask, his answers played on so many strings in my heart with music that was so deep and touching. I wanted to offer Jesus help, but instead, he helped me with the light he shed into my life in those 10 minutes I chatted with him. He wants nothing from anyone, certainly no pity. I felt inferior to Jesus, not because of anything he said or the way he talked, he was kind and humble, but because when I approached him, I thought I was being kind and nice to him and maybe I subconsciously felt superior to him in my health and my stable comfortable desk job, but his philosophy showed me his real strength and his ability to be over what I am slave to, that made me realize how weak I am.

Jesus, a Hispanic hunched back old man with one eye, rides his bike to and from work every day and smiles to everyone he passes by. It's true he sees everything in two dimensions, but his vision of life goes beyond all dimensions and penetrates all the fake layers that already blinded most of us. Jesus, God bless you, you are a true inspiration.