The frontliner who took the photo also learns something in the experience
Reading books without the intention of buying them inside a shop is normally frowned upon. People, however, lauded this stolen shot of a man who was relaxed and seated down, peacefully enjoying a book on the floor of a bookstore.
On Sept. 11, Robert Sison, a nurse from a government hospital, paid a visit to National Bookstore at SM Muntinlupa, where he saw an old, shabby man going through the bookshelves and reading.
Robert hesitated to approach the man since he had just got out from his shift from Ospital ng Muntinlupa. “I just came from the hospital. I went to National [Bookstore], looking for an activity book as a present for my niece’s birthday,” he explained.
Afraid that he might be carrying the virus, he was careful not to approach the man, who seemed vulnerable, which was why he opted to take a photo with the intention of inspiring other people from the encounter instead.
Learning is a constant process of discovery, a process without end. —Bruce Lee
“Initially, nagulat ako na may mamang topless (I was surprised to see a shirtless man), untidy, sitting, and reading a book sa isang aisle. Then I realized after seeing him choose another book to read na this man was enjoying reading books,” Robert says.
The frontliner was humbled by what he saw. He posted the image with the caption, “Learning is not confined inside the classroom.” Robert wanted people to realize that, despite the pandemic or whatever it was life could throw at us, everyone was lucky in their own way, and that we should not take things for granted.
“I am so privileged to have finished my degree in a regular school and learning is not limited inside the school premises only. Yet, the old man despite his poverty finds a way to enrich himself by reading,” he muses.
Robert also thanked the staff of the bookshop for leaving the man alone to read in peace.