Saturday, 22 September 2012

How good are we, really?

Saturday: I started off today with a long run, followed by grocery shopping then preparing brunch. Bathed, spring-cleaned my room for a bit then proceeded to lie in bed watching Friends w Benefits and finding out thereafter that the butt-naked Mila Kunis scene was actually a 'butt double'...... And then spamming tons of tissue tearing every 5 minutes and getting up to do more housework. Snacking on a kiwi then an apple and reading up on the news. 

So whilst browsing through Facebook I came across a video with a very simple title: Humanity. As the video unveiled itself in Taiwan, it showed a mother and a child getting off their motorcycle at a traffic light and helping an old lady cross the road as cars and motorcycles horned in irritation once the lights turned green. The whole video spanned 2.30 minutes and you can watch it here.

2 minutes and 30 seconds of my life thinking if I've ever done anything to deserve a ticket to the pearly white gates where St Peter stands.

It was a simple act, one done with courage and with nothing expected in return. It made me wonder how much of a person I've been all my life. Have I given back to the world? Have I done anything worth admiration and respect? 

Thboy and I were in one of the night markets in Taiwan last week shopping when, among a sea of people, Thboy spotted a man. An old man, dressed in a simple tee and shorts, rummaging through a garbage bin looking for something. Something.

I didn't realize him till Thboy told me once we walked away. I stopped to look from across a line of food carts, watching him rummage through the bin only to pick up about half a cup of bubble tea, poking the straw through the plastic film on top again and drinking what was left. I was only left with 100TWD that night, but I decided to take it out and walked against the current toward the man. 

Thboy: "Where're you going?"
Me: "I want to give him some cash."
Thboy: "But how if his intentions aren't good?"

So we spent about a minute observing him from behind a cart, watching as he dug through the trash can looking for more drinks.

But at the end of it all, we walked away. Putting the money back in my wallet, I asked Thboy why he was so skeptical and his reason was simple and rational.

Thboy: "Because we're in a foreign country. And as much as I'd love to help him we don't know what kind of person he is. We don't know if what he's looking for it what we think he needs. But I can't help seeing him like this. I know I'm skeptical but I feel bad."

He made sense. A lot of sense. I processed my thoughts and told him this.

"Think of it as how I would. He looks the least bit sickly. In fact he looks pretty well fed. He's not bloated that's for sure and all he's looking for are drinks. He looks a little mental, too. So maybe he's not what we thought he was. Okay?"

Maybe this is why I've all my life, been second guessing myself. The over-thinking of a situation which results in me wondering if, out of 20 years, I've done anything to show I'm a person of compassion and dignity.

I've bought tissue paper from the aunty walking around the hawker centers, only to find out some ask for exorbitant prices like $10 for 3 packets of tissue. I've helped people who've dropped their things, only for them to grab them like I was going to steal them instead. I've seen people

What's left of this world? Can we still have faith in humanity? Or have we been fooled one too many times to see the good in people?

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