Hasty trip

Update: 16/11/2022
This afternoon, I returned to the pagoda after visiting Hoang Phap Temple. Every time I come or return, I have a good Buddhist to pick me up. This time I called him and he agreed immediately. Almost the time of departure, he did not appear, I called to ask the reason and he apologized because he was too busy at the beginning of the week, so he could not return early. I understood and sympathized with him, then booked a Grab before it was late. Knowing this was the rush hour, that was late for a grab car, so I called the grab bike to be able to wriggle if there was a traffic jam.

Hasty trip


Traffic jams are the "specialty" of each city, an obsession for people when going out at rush hour. I sat on the route as usual, but this time it felt like a long stretch, going for a long time because of the traffic jam. Fortunately, the driver was kind and very enthusiastic. He asked me the time to fly to take advantage of going faster. When there were no people, he galloped like flying. I sat in the back, holding the suitcase with one hand, the other hand on the back for fear of falling. When there was a traffic jam, he rode on the sidewalk, squeezed into the car lane, blew the horn loudly… I was heartbroken because I felt it was dangerous for both of us and I loved him immensely.

When I first got on the bike, the biker and I were free, so we had time to talk. He asked me about spiritual practice at the pagoda and I asked him about his finances. Through the words he confided, I realized that I am very lucky and offered sympathy for what he is going through. There are four people in his family, in which the oldest child is in the eleventh grade, the youngest is in the fifth grade, and his wife has been unemployed for two months. He said before that his economy was relatively enough, having a house, having a wife to work, so he partly shared the expenses. Currently his family is in a rented house, due to his father's loss of business, he sold his house to pay off his debt. By the end of the month, it is the time when he is most worried and afraid, because he has to pay the house bills, electricity and water bills, children's school fees, three meals etc., all piled up on his shoulders.

At a time of economic recession, currency inflation, his life is more difficult. In order to maintain the motorbike as a fishing rod to earn food for the whole family, he had to queue for hours to be able to pour a little gasoline. Having managed for a long time, running all day and night was not enough to spend, he and his wife had to borrow more money at the bank. To save money, he skipped lunch. There were times when he was hungry, his hands were shaking when driving, but he always encouraged himself: "Try, I’d rather be hungry than let my wife and children suffer starvation". Mentioning this, his voice was speechless. Maybe "you haven't eaten lunch yet?".

Quietly I sat and listened to his confidence as if I could see more of the suffering of a human life. Perhaps he was too tired by this life, but because of the responsibility, the love of his wife and children, he tried every day. I gently touched his shoulder, patted him a few times as if sympathizing with what he was going through: “You try to take care of your health. Hopefully this difficult time for the family will soon pass, the children will soon understand to study hard, and your wife will soon have a job again."

Struggling for a long time, he finally took me to the airport just in time to check-in. I quickly said goodbye, thanked him, and quickly got my luggage to check in and didn't forget to send him some more money. I looked at the drops of sweat on his austere face, and his hands were carefully counting each coin I had just sent. The little money I spent more, although not much to change his actual situation, was wholehearted, like the best wishes to him and his family.

In rush hour, each line of people came into the street more and more crowded, I thought in the rush of people returning home after a tiring day at work, how many people are in the same situation as him? There are so many rich people in the world because they have accumulated merit and virtue from countless kalpas. And those who are poor because they are unlucky and do not know how to cultivate blessings. I hope everyone understands the nature of cause and effect and does not blame Heaven and Earth. They need to learn to accept it, and then change their own karma. 

Tâm Lực

Translated into English by Cao Thanh Tuyen

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