I Met A Man Today…

Home / Poetry, Essays, Art & Fiction / I Met A Man Today…

by Zen Gardner


I met a man today.

Ever so briefly. He was tired.

His work boots grounded his humble, yet impressive frame.

As he gathered his rudimentary supplies from the small shopping basket

He placed them on the checkout counter. Slowly. Deliberately.

I dropped the tug of any angst to get home soon. A world was unfolding before me.

His life is hard, but no complaints. No groans. Just resignation on his weary part.

He clearly had a family to feed. Ever so meekly he appears to perform his life functions.

My heart began to bleed in pain and anger as I observed the programmed crap being piled into his plastic bags.

How many beautiful creatures are forced to buy non-nourishing manipulated replacement crap to keep their offspring alive. How many worldwide are forced to eat contaminated shit from the self appointed masters of control.

My heart continued to gush. I was heavy in my shoes as the scene unfolded before me.

This isn’t right.

I wait in another observant world as he does his meek, slow check out. I’m creating prose in my mind of the poignant moment.

I check out after him and follow him to his small scooter outside, a simple Chinese made mode of transplanted transportation most use in these parts where he decorates the handlebars with weighty plastic bags.

Families of four can be seen riding regularly and carrying groceries home on these scooters.

“How may children do you have?” I asked. I could tell he was shopping for a small family.

“Two, ages 7 and 5”, he reluctantly replied in subdued tone.

“Tough economy right now” I brokenly continued, trying to be pertinent and not too obvious as to my intention. He nodded but proudly said he’s getting on OK.

I couldn’t help it, and expecting rejection said as his head bowed to meet my extended hand, “Please take this gift, with love for you and your family” in my broken language, handing him the money I had on hand, a small but hopefully encouraging gift to this unsung saint of humanity.

He took it, thankfully, I’m happy to report. I was afraid this stately man would say no.

It was tough. Humbling for such a proud man and a stretch for me to reach out without embarrassing him or feeling patronizing. But if I didn’t respond to what I felt in that revelatory moment of seeing this display of life highlighted before my very eyes, I too am another living hypocrite.

Thankfully, he accepted.

It was a release, and a good one. I was in tears all the way home. I had witnessed something very special and had the honor to participate in some small way, even if only for my own personal cleansing and growing connectivity.

The most giving and sharing people on planet earth are the poor. They are rich in the real riches, so giving and sharing come easy. I’ve witnessed it in dozens of countries. Reciprocation is only natural and I’m glad I was accepted.

The meek have already inherited the earth.

That is why.

They are grounded.

Love, Zen

Print Friendly, PDF & Email