Tet Holiday (lunar New Year) is one of Vietnamese traditions and customs. Unlike Western people celebrating New Year with champagne, we stay at home to do a worship or visit a pagoda to pray for a new, peaceful and happy new year coming.
As many others, at 00:00am, I was at a pagoda pretty near to my house. I followed nans and over fifty people to read a sutra. Most of them were women. There were some men who just knelt down, and clasped their hands together but read no words. The smell of incense was flying to every corner of the main hall. That smell made everybody warmer in the cold atmosphere of midnight. A sea of people outside the pagoda were so noisy. I could feel how happy they were because they had just enjoyed a wonderful firework performance. Their energy strongly flew in their vessels blood. They were welcoming a new year, and with some of them, it was a new start.
When we were reading a half of the sutra, next to me, suddenly a man came and sit. At the first glance, I easily saw tattoos on his left arm. It was a dragon opening its mouth and showed sharp teeth. His hair was half red, a little yellow and brown. I could not see his right ear, but the left one wore an earring. The man knelt down on a carpet, his hands clasped and two eyes closed. As others, he started to read the sutra. He did not care others who staring at him curiously, some with annoying attitude. The man, at that time, spent all his mind to read the sutra and to pray for good things.
Another day in May, it was so hot in the Southern of Vietnam. I had something to do outside, so I drove my motorbike at noon. I did not like that weather. I could not take a nap even thought I have got an air conditioner working all the time. Very few people were outside this time. When I reached a traffic light, it turned red. There were a little boy and an old woman sitting next to the light. They were beggars. Under the hot sunshine, their eyes looked like totally closing. With patched clothes, worn-out lip-lops, and sunburn skins, they were so miserable. I put twenty thousand dong in a hat held by the boy.
“Thank you!” – The boy said.
I lightly smiled with a sympathy.
The light was still red. Then I saw a man who drove too fast and cross the red light. But I was surprised when he turned back. “Why did he turn back?” – I asked myself. He drove close to me, no, he drove close to the beggars and also gave them twenty thousand dong. He did not wait for “thank you”. Immediately, he turned around and fast drove as before. He may break the law, but he did not break the compassion inside of him.
In Vietnam, lottery sellers go everywhere they want. Some of them have a small table to put lotteries on, others have a small store, and very few possess an agent. Many of sellers are children who are living in a poor condition. They may have classes in the afternoon, so in the morning they take time to sell lottery. One day, my friends and I had a party at a seafood restaurant. Opposite our table, there was another small party. I realized many of them are richest men in town. The restaurant allowed lottery sellers come in. There were around three children doing their job.
Then a little girl came to one of beautiful ladies over there. I secretly observed her. “What will she do with the girl?”
Well, her action was worth to be admired. She bought all lottery, and also invited the little girl a small bowl of soup. The girl was so happy while enjoying the delicious soup.
That’s it. Every of us has compassion. We just simply wake it up.