The Viral Sampaguita Man

I find social media as an endless source of interesting articles and emotionally moving photos. Fact is, I constantly look for them as soon as I start my morning habit of scrolling down on news feeds and friends’ posts online.

Fighting spirit

Iron spirit (photo credit: Archel Cabanas on Facebook)

I hunt Facebook posts for stories and videos to serve as my everyday inspiration. I often read ones that tear my heart apart. Call me masochistic but they become an instant fix, like a dose from a story in Chicken Soup For the Soul.

Photos of a man who braved the rain and continued selling sampaguita leis abruptly turned my amusement to that of a somber feeling. I just had to read what it was all about. I immediately knew it was one of those “food for the soul” articles. The photos were taken in one of the busiest highways of the Philippines. An amputee vendor showed how determined he was to sell his goods to motorists despite the heavy downpour.

Some people frown upon the idea of making another person’s difficult life a source of motivation. I disagree with them. I think learning about other people’s hardships can make us more empathetic and self-aware that we are not the only ones riddled with problems however minute or enormous they may be. Life is a constant battle. That’s what makes it beautiful. How will we appreciate the great feelings of the good times if not for the bad ones, right? Eyeing that man in the photos made me grateful for my own ups and downs.

Looking at this man in the photos made made my heart swell with admiration. Regardless of the difficulties he surely faces everyday, he does not seem to back down. So many of us neglect to reflect on how we should not be complaining of the trivial things. Of course, a bad day can turn our mood sour but that should not hamper us from looking at the bright side of the day’s events. There must be something, a fleeting instance, or someone that made you smile or step into that happy state even just for a slight second. I would love to know what inspires this man to keep on going!

This man struggles through life clearly. He may be missing a leg, yes, but he very much has a strong spirit that conquered his disability. I may not know his entire story but I am so awed at the strength of his soul. I thank him for the inspiration he unknowingly gave. And for the person who caught this moment, thank you for sharing.


How about you, has any viral photo touched your heart recently?




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