Date of story:
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 3:45pm
My story starts in Brazil. In the city of Rio de Janeiro, during the month of June in the midst of the World Cup. I had been invited to hang out in Lapa, a festive district known for many different spots to eat, drink, dance and just hang with people from all over the world.
I was with an Indian couple who I had made friends with in my hostel. The husband, Ajay, bumped into a pair of cousins from Washington DC. The ball started rolling since I went to American University in DC, including the year of the Virginia Tech shooting. I can't actually remember his name, but as we kept talking, I noticed the bracelet and he explained to me that it was an initiative his friend has started after having lost a friend in the VT shooting. Before the night was over, he handed it to me and said take it home with you and kept the chain going.
I returned home to San Juan PR about a week later after we met. We never saw or spoke to each other ever again. But I managed to keep the bracelet with me in an envelope until I got back. Never gave it a thought again until it reached the person who owns it now.
The bracelet is now in the hands of a man by the name of Javier Santos . The reason why I gave him the bracelet is because he did the single most amazing act of kindness anyone could imagine. He is a homeless alcoholic who lives in the old district of San Juan. The day I saw his act, a stranger had purchased for him a to go box full of chicken wings and a soda. Suddenly, I lost sight of him. A couple of minutes later, he sat in the stoop where a party was going to be held that I was helping set up. The party was actually a food festival. Javier had gone to get his blind homeless friend called William.
I had passed by William so many times, as if I was the blind person and never saw him. But I had seen him begging around the tourist areas. William wears a sign that hangs from his neck that reads help the blind, while he waves and makes noise with a cup full of change.
I had never bothered to give him my change.
Javier Santos had gone out of sight because he went to fetch William to sit him down to make sure that William had something to eat that day. Javier Santos simply shared the only meal he was probably going to have that day; to ensure that William could go on, and not go hungry.
The selflessness and simplicity of the act. I share what I have because its the right things to do, even if it is the ONLY thing I have to live.
I have seen it happen a couple of times, now that I have paid more attention. Every time someone offers food to Javier Santos, he automatically shares or saves some for William.
And that's why I named this story Less has More. This man has more guts, valor, dignity and just plain humanity in an inch than I have in the entire sum of my financial and material possessions. Thus even though he has less, Javier Santos has more. And now I have more because of him and William.
This bracelet has been a gift to love and will live with me. Thank you for the opportunity to share this story.