Easy to Say, Difficult to Prove

Easy to Say, Difficult to Prove

I saw her from a distance. I was walking along a sidewalk in Bali when I noticed the skinny and frail woman in tattered clothing sitting beside the street with a young daughter. I reached for my wallet, and as I approached her, I thumbed through the bills. I passed the larger bills, and settled on a crinkled twenty thousand rupiah bill. As I continued my journey after handing her the bill, a thought struck me. What will twenty thousand rupiah buy? That is barely even enough for a bottle of water. I began an internal argument with myself. Others will surely pass and give her more money, I thought. What if they don’t? You can’t rely on others to fulfill your purpose. At this thought I immediately turned around. I fetched the largest bill in my wallet. I passed an area of sidewalk where flowers had fallen from a tree and chose the cleanest flower. I handed the woman the one hundred thousand rupiah bill and placed the flower in the palm of her daughter’s tiny hand. The woman immediately clasped her hands together and made bowing gestures, a thank you. She smiled and looked into my eyes and reached out for my hands. She held them in her own and continued the bowing gestures.

The day before I encountered this woman, I had the pleasure of touring around with a Balinese man who eagerly shared his wisdom with me. “Things are easy to say, but difficult to prove,” He said. I have known for a very long time that my purpose in life is to make a difference in the lives of others. It is easy to claim that spreading love and peace, and helping those in need is the life that I desire. It is harder to sleep on the dirt floor of an orphanage in the slums of southern India. It is harder to bathe in a bucket. It is harder to share the squat toilet with bugs. It is harder to leave behind family to seek out the needy around the world. “It is hard to do action,” he said, “but if you try, better one than zero.”

This is the life I dream of. I want to help others. I want to be challenged and pushed out of my comfort zones. I want experiences that will change me and continue to expand the deepest corners of my heart. I want to become my highest self. I want to give others the love and help that will do the same for them. I am only one, but if I try, one is better than zero.

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