A young man sat not far from a bench in the park. There were many people around, so he hoped to collect some change. After leaving his home, he couldn’t find a job, so he wandered the streets. He didn’t envision an independent adult life for himself. The spare change he collected was enough for survival, and he didn’t expect more. With only a few coins in his pocket, he continued sitting, hoping to collect more.
A well-dressed older man walked through the park and sat directly across from the young man on the bench. He looked at him and asked, “Why are you sitting here?” The young man looked around, thinking the question wasn’t directed at him. He wasn’t used to people talking to him; they usually avoided him with disdainful glances. “I don’t know,” he replied. “What is your purpose and meaning in life?” the older man asked.
“I don’t know,” the young man replied again. “A ship without a destination will keep drifting on the waves until it crashes against the rocks. If you have no purpose in life, you’ll keep wandering until you destroy yourself. Everyone must have meaning and purpose in life,” the man stated and fell silent.
The young man continued silently staring at him. Suddenly, the older man began to wheeze and searched for something in his pocket. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” the young man asked. “Water,” the older man whispered. The young man didn’t hear it and ran to the nearest kiosk. Using all the coins he had collected, he handed them to the vendor
. “A bottle of water, please.” The girl behind the counter looked at him distrustfully but handed him the water bottle. The young man quickly grabbed it and ran back to the man on the bench. “Here, take it.” He saw the man struggling to breathe, and he rushed to seek help. Shouting for someone to call an ambulance, but nobody around seemed to hear.
Eventually, he ran to the kiosk and asked the girl to call an ambulance for the elderly man. Waiting for the paramedics, he made sure the man was okay and then left. Three months later, winter arrived, a challenging time for the homeless. The young man walked the streets, trying to keep warm, but his strength was fading. He barely made it to a bench near a large office building and lay down.
Seeing the beggar on the bench, a security guard came out and began to harass him, but the young man didn’t react; he was asleep. The owner of the office building came out, spotted the same young man, and said to the security guard, “Put him in my car.” The guard hesitated but complied. He put the young man in the car, and it drove away. Arkadiy Ivanovich approached the building and instructed the driver to take the young man to the guest room. He gave orders to the maid regarding the young man and left.
The young man woke up and was surprised: warm, soft bedding, a large, spacious room. “Have you woken up?” a girl’s voice suddenly echoed. “Where am I?” the young man said, not understanding. “You are in Arkadiy Ivanovich’s house. Your new and clean clothes are here,” the maid said. “There’s a bathroom. Freshen up. A hairdresser will come in an hour.” The young man didn’t understand anything but complied.