The Shoe of a Stranger

This morning, I stopped at a traffic light in Beirut, and while taking a look at my right, i just spotted the shoe of this stranger sitting in the back of a truck with its opened doors, and without any second thought, I picked up my phone to shoot a photo without looking at the face of the man wearing it.

The following seconds, felt like ages, I had a million of thoughts inside my head, who is this guy? how old is he, what does he work, why is he sitting at the back of this truck, where is he from, where is he going, why is he wearing this old, very old shoe, how are his feet taking the cold weather, the rain, is he married, does he have kids and mainly why life is so unfair?

We have everything and we are not happy.

We wear the latest brand name fashion clothes, we buy the most comfortable shoes, we pay the monthly salary of this guy for a pair we like, we live in the luxury and warmth of our homes, we eat whatever we feel like, we drive our cars to work, we have our smartphones, our laptops, our tablets, we are connected 24/24 to the internet, we know whatever is going on the other side of the planet from the comfort of our beds while lying on a very soft mattress, we spent hours under the hot water, buy a different hair shampoo than our body shower gel, use a well known fragrance brand to mark our entrance to the office, and… and… and…, and an endless number of luxurious things we do in our lives AND sometimes we wake up and we are not happy with what we have.

I kept wondering during those long seconds, why this man cannot have what we possess, part of it or all of it, is not he human enough to enjoy things we do enjoy in our everyday life?

And then, the truck moved on the green light, while getting away, I moved my head up to look at him, he was wearing a wonderful smile on his face with a cigarette in his hand, a smile that said million of things back, maybe he was telling me he was so happy having that shoe and thanking God he was not barefooted! I guess he was in his mid-50s.

Unfortunately the truck moved left and I was going to the right and lost him, after few minutes, I wished the truck was branded so i can know where to find this guy again and buy him a decent pair of shoes.

And one more time, thank you God for everything I have!


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