One afternoon I was strolling leisurely in the countryside together with an old friend Benjamin. It was a short distance from his residence, at a remote village in central Taiwan. Just about an hour ago, there was a thunder storm with heavy down pour at the vicinity. We were glad that the rain had stopped and the sun emerged behind some dark clouds to cast a ray of intimidating light reminding us of its immense power. We had just hiked for half a mile when we were greeted by a haggard looking old farmer pushing a 3 wheeler-cycle fully laden with plastic bags of packed vegetables. We took a closer look at the packed vegetables and we noticed that the leaves of the vegetables were mostly yellowish green, almost dried up and had tiny worm eaten holes on them. Without much hesitation Benjamin bought three bags of the vegetables after being told of the price. The old farmer was very grateful that he manage to make a sale. He was rather apologetic when he explained to Ben: "These vegetable were all planted at my plot of land over there.....it had been raining for the past few days and all I could savage were these packs. I am sorry the vegetables here were not so good looking......"
I was taken aback, so I asked: "Hey Ben, these vegetables are not fresh enough and most them have worms chewing away the leaves."
"Yes, I know and I saw." Came the quick reply from Benjamin. After the departure of the old farmer, I asked Benjamin again: "are you really going to eat these staff?"
"No, of course. The vegetables are not fit for human consumption."
"Then why must you buy?"
"This is because of the fact that it's unlikely anybody else will buy his packs of vegetables. If I were not buying, the poor old farmer would have no income today!"
Pomelo farmer picking up fruits after visit
of a devastating typhoon in Taiwan
Corn field suffered a rampage from a typhoon.
The loss is immense.
My friend Benjamin's kind deed impressed me and I was touched by his empathy. I turned back to catch up with the old farmer to buy few more packs of the inedible vegetables. The farmer bowed and thanked me profusely; he exclaimed in gratitude: "I had been trying to sell some vegetables and nobody would buy any from me. Only two of you kind souls so far had bought from me."
I have learned a great lesson from this small insignificant incident. We are always hoping that there will be a solution in a miracle when we are at the ebbs. But at times when most needed, when we are capable and able, could we be the ones who create the miracles?
Translated by Alan Kok from
a story obtained from an e-mail.
Alan CY Kok