Six times a week I saw him there. He was the first one to always greet me whenever I arrive at work. He is a big man. You can already assume that he is from Africa or Bangladesh because of his skin colour. His hair is the typical-curly-I-woke-up-like-this kind of hair. He was always the coy type – something that you would expect from a person who came from a destitute household. He barely talked although he seemed chatty around me.
Puso. His name is Puso. It’s an average name, a name that you could easily forget. It doesn’t have a nice ring to it. It’s not even interesting, but there is more to him than meets the eye. There’s something special about Puso. Not just because of the fact that his name means “heart” in my language, but because it makes him who he is. He has a big heart.
He worked as a janitor/maintenance guy in the company where I work. He was the cleaner, the sweeper, the toilet ninja, the dust warrior and the garbage hero. Not one single time did I see him doing nothing, taking a break or getting a snack. He was always doing something, whether it be polishing the windows or mopping the floor. He was practically a robot. A robot that needs to work; that needs to suffer the hardships of life for a chance to change the course of his future. I admire him. I admire his dedication, his commendable fortitude to deal with righteous people and co-workers who think that he is nothing more than an expendable employee – someone who isn’t capable of whining about injustice or maltreatment. He didn’t complain, he didn’t make a fuss, he basically would just shrug his shoulders, look down and not say a thing. He would just go back to what he was doing and act as if nothing would ever break him – no words, no insults, no judgment – nothing could ever rupture his faith: his faith that someday…someday…life would be in his favor. Someday…where no one could tell him what he can and what he cannot do, where no one would be discriminated.
Puso taught me a lot of things, things that I never would have appreciated had I not seen the reality of weakness. I will be like Puso. I will be brave. I will never let anyone violate my worth. I am not going to be defined by stupid and inane perceptions. I will never be daunted by people’s foul and callous judgment. I am my own person.