A tough struggle not to be a slave or everything I need

Once upon a time, there was...
a kiosk in a train station.
You know what a train station kiosk is like, right?
It’s a real product of our consumer society:
Where you try to make a maxi-profit in a mini-space.
A maxi-crowd surges over a mini-workforce
which tries to satisfy
a maximum number of desires
in a minimum amount of time.

Between maxi and mini
have you wondered what becomes of the people?

A station is a place intensely alive.
People go up, and people go down,
of every colour and all ages.
Thousands.
But each one, each one, unique.
With his or her own story.

The kiosk is attractive.
You find a thousand things there
which can he of great service
to the folks passing through.
Still, caught between maxi and mini
it’s a tough struggle
not to be captured as a slave

It’s true there are always at least four of us
holding the line of battle.
But life is difficult.
All this maxi and mini
is violent, anyway.
And so sometimes, we get mixed up.
We are tricked by the heat of the battle
and we find ourselves fighting each other.
Only when we see (for example)
how everyone cares for Rosie
when she gets sick -
it puts our hearts right again:
it is clear we are fond of each other, after all!

But there are all these people.
There too, it’s important
not to fight the wrong battle.
The war is not with them.

Between maxi and mini
we become machines.
Them and us.
Sometimes more them, sometimes more us.
And it’s hard, hard to stay alive.
I have to really hold on not to become
a maxi-sales clerk,
who manages to do a maximum amount of things
in a minimum amount of time.

And thus, one evening, after hours and hours,
there appears in the midst of the crowd a lady
who holds out her change purse and says,
"I can’t see too well anymore.
Would you look yourself?"

I come close to telling her
she ought to put her glasses on,
that everyone is in a hurry here,
that I don’t have the time.

But no,
I hold out my hand
and she shakes out her coins into my palm.
I start counting, and suddenly,
amid the coins I see a little medal shining.
The Child Jesus.
"What a surprise to see you here, in the middle
of all this, my God!"
Completely flabbergasted, I stop counting.
The lady looks at me, trusting:
"Do you have what you need?"
Her smile looks like
the smile of the Child on the medal.
I look at the two of them
and I feel within me a great tenderness winning out...
"Oh, yes ma’am, I have EVERYTHING I need!"