Insensitive | Not from now on

By Cristina Radu

It was one of the coldest nights of winter and I was leaving the mall, with my hands full of stuff. It was truly a perfect day for buying some new pieces for my wardrobe. I was so happy that I passed by people around me totally careless. After a few seconds, my brain froze when I heard a tormented voice shouting behind me “Help me, please!”. I stopped. I could no longer see or hear anything around me, except her. She was a simple woman with ten packages of napkins in her hand and tears in her eyes. She just wanted to sell the napkins to survive that night too. I went immediately to her and I bought one of them!

That night has changed me!  That night taught me that above all, you need to be human. I need to be human even if I live in Bucharest and somehow kindness is at the end of “to do” list in an ordinary day.

From then until now, I met a few old ladies who were selling flowers. Grandmothers that reminded me of my grandmother which is always waiting for me with my favorite meals on the table and love in her soul. And every time I saw one of those ladies I bought flowers, although in most of the time, they weren’t roses or Imperial Lilies.

I didn’t attach emotionally, considering these stories just simple purchases that have the power to change a man’s day, but the last event got deeply in my soul.

I was going to a major session of shopping, very happy and ready for it. Out of nowhere I saw right in front of me an old lady sitting into a wheelchair with a big bouquet of lavender and other bouquets into her bag. She wasn’t like the other ladies. She was standing motionless, with the look in the ground, but with her hand taut, offering those flowers. I said in my mind that I am going to the shopping first and right after that I am coming back to buy a bouquet. 2 hours later, I was passing by, very happy for my purchases and ready to go home to eat something.

I completely forgot that I promised to myself that I will make someone else happy in that day . Just right before to step inside the bus, I remembered about her and I went back.

She was standing there, in the same way. I went closer, I gave her the amount I felt I had to give to her and she offered me the big bouquet that she was holding in her hand, but I grabbed a little one. Not the size of the thing makes me buy from those people. Their simple gesture of offering something in return, not just panhandling for the money, makes me buy with open heart.

I arrived home completely careless about my new clothes that I will probably wear once and completely careless about my hunger.  I was standing in the middle of the bed and all I wanted in that moment, was that at the end of the day, her old man which also sold flowers elsewhere in the city, will come and will take her home, they will eat something good together and they will fall asleep in each other ‘s arms. But probably the reality is more painful.

I don’t want to be considered as being superior in some way, but if being human means to be superior, I fully assume my role and I hope that somehow, sometime, each  of us will remember that above all, we need to be human with ourselves  and with people that are around us.

Cristina Radu

Hi! I'm Cristina, I'm 23 years old and I live in Bucharest. I collect antiques, I love cats and I want to live in a castle in France.

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