I just read this article about a padjak driver who died, and just like the writer – trying to find blame is so tempting, so easy, so… natural.
Sometimes it’s so easy to fall into a trap of prejudice, hiding behind ‘protocols’, ‘precautions’, and other social/bureaucratic red tape to avoid taking responsibility or simply show concern to someone in need – dubious or sincere.
And yes – I’m not talking about the guards (who actually had more heart in this story) or those who were around the scene. I’m talking about us: you and me – wouldn’t we have acted with the same indifference?
Sure, the world is full of posers and fakers and advantage takers – I’ve met a lot of them during my leisurely walks around Makati (some I’ve chosen to help and others I simply ignored): from young peddlers of sampaguita-on-strings, to madonna-and-child beggar pilgrims, to the all-too-familiar old guy I always meet around Salcedo village who carried a plastic envelope and suddenly clutches his belly as if in pain whenever someone walks near him.
Has compassion become limited to massive tragedies and calamities?
Are we simply practicing ‘social contemporary street wisdom’ or are we just creating justified excuses?
What does it really mean to be humane?