Experience of first time coming to United States
I walked along the streets of New York, mesmerized by the beauty of the city at night. Street lights all over, thousands of taxis and vehicles speeding along the superhighways. This was a reverie come true for me, walking the streets of one of the largest and more so powerful city in the world. Life was getting more interesting. One of the funniest experiences was walking towards a shopping mall, only for it to open automatically. I stood there sheepishly for a while, without knowing whether to walk in or back off. Everything here operated electronically from the doors to the trains. I was busy watching the beautiful sight of snow falling as light rays illuminated, not even watching where I was going. Then suddenly I ran into an old frail man of around seventy years of age or older. I tripped and almost fell over his fragile body. He was sleeping on that street with outstretching arms and a tin with some change in it. It was evening, cold from the continuous snowing. Our eyes met as he glanced, and all I could see was pain, sorrow and hunger. His were eyes spoke of suffering that almost drove me to tears.I took out all the money I had in my bag and gave it to him.
Talk of America in India, my native land, and everybody could imagine the luxurious life there, totally different from our over populated country. Ten years ago when I landed in America, New York to be precise, I thought my life was going to change completely. I was running away from the poverty stricken country of India,where life had been so full of uncertainties. I thought I had made it until I met that man who was old enough to be my grandfather. That meeting became the turning point of my life. It stirred a feeling of compassion I had never experienced before, one I did not know I was capable of possessing. I had always seen poor people in India, this was not something new. The difference was that this man was in a whole new world where I least expected to find such people, I had always idealized the United States.
I now run a charity organization that seeks to help the poor, especially street urchins and families. These are the lowly people in a society advancing in development at a very fast rate. The result is more people getting richer by day and the poor getting poorer. As the working class gets busier, they totally forget about their old parents, abandoning them under no one’s care. A section of my organization therefore specifically focuses on the aged who have been abandoned by their families.
Daily routine activities include giving out food ratios to those who have shelter but cannot afford meals. They come into the premises for the three meals at the prescribed times. I participate in most of the activities that happen here, from dusk till dawn. This is what I have dedicated myself to doing in lifetime. I help in serving, cleaning and organizing the people into manageable numbers when serving. At the end of each meal, my workers and I eat the same food we serve.
For the aged, I have built them several houses with many small rooms to accommodate them. Most of them have no families yet they need someone to fend for them. Most of the workers offer their services voluntarily but I pay a few others, who have no other source of income. I make routine checks in their rooms as I talk to them. Most of these people have been my source of inspiration. They may be old, but their words are full of wisdom and knowledge.
I am leading a life I never expected, the “Mother Theresa” kind of life. My initial focus was to have a successful life from which I could get everything I wanted in life. I always dreamt of owning a fleet of cars, living in a mansion in one of the posh estates in New York City and running one of the most triumphant business enterprises in the city. All these did not happen but I can still say that what I got in to is a venture worth the effort. Seeing the happy faces at the end of each day is more nourishing, giving me all the happiness that money cannot buy.
I suppose that I can revolutionize the lives of many other people in the world. I volunteer myself in service of the nation in one way or the other. Apart from running my organization, I volunteer in other humanitarian activities such as helping out in disaster stricken areas in the country and outside, such as those prone to hurricanes and earthquakes and thousands of people get displaced and rendered homelessareas. My mission in this world it that of service to others and requires sacrifice and laying down my life for others. It calls for denial of self to make it through without harboring any thoughts of regrets. I have learnt to give this duty my all as it makes me whole to help those who have the least, I have learnt to value human life more than worldly possessions.