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“Character is how you treat someone who can do nothing for you”

I don’t know who created that brilliant quote, but one sight on a busy Monday morning reminded me of it. Arriving at work means taking a bike taxi ride, or an ojek as we would call it to Setiabudi Building. It is a place that prrovides an array of food that caters to those working in other buildings nearby. Then I would have to cross a pedestrian bridge to actually get to the office.

Midway up the stairs, a common yet endearing scene unfolded before me. It was a man, taking hearty sip of water near the cart that he was pulling with his wife and children inside. Like I mentioned, sights like these are not hard to come by. However, now that I am at an entirely new stage of my life, I am truly amazed at the strength and resilience of people like them.

Character is central to our very being, it will form the set of principles and rules for us to live by. Being in the city, I would never want my humility to crack because even if people that fight through days like them may not be able to give us something back in return, it is important that they are acknowledged. That we know of their existence, that we appreciate them.

A man like him would usually collect used cardboard boxes, paper and even books to be exchanged for money. It may seem like a tedious activity. But even if he might not receive what is expected, I sure do hope that it will give him all the blessings he deserves.

In the midst of bustling progress and shifted values, some will never fight through and do what they have to. To fight for another day, to sleep under the same night sky that we do, to be able to eat the same rice that we do, to fight for some vision of a brighter future like I’m sure all of us are too.

Going up, starts from looking down.