An Apology to the Anawim

When i gave the little vagrant girl the second burger of my Buy-One-Take-One, she seemed so happy.

I was thinking how she deserves more than that. In the world we wanted to build more than ten years ago, she wouldn’t have to ask someone for something to eat. She wouldn’t be out on the dangerous streets of Manila at 12 midnight. She wouldn’t have to wear dirty clothes or have a torn-up doll for a toy.

I saw her again from across the road as I left the convenience store. She seemed so happy.

But I know, deep inside, she deserved more.

Sorry, little lady, for failing you so badly.

I know we can say we tried. I wish we tried harder. I know we can blame the hubris, greed and ambition of our elders. I wish we… did something. I sacrificed my future and risked my life for those lofty goals anyway. Maybe I should have given more.

I wanted so badly to take away that look in the eyes of the anawim. To give them back their humanity, their dignity. That was it was all about.

Now, all I could do is give a little urchin girl half of my food.

And she seemed so happy with it.

Oh, child. If only you knew how much more I owe you.

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