When browsing through Facebook this morning, I started reading a story a friend had re-posted, about a poor boy trying to sell rambutans to earn money for an operation he urgently needed. Living with a sick grandmother, he had no choice but to drop out of school and earn money for his own survival.
The girl who originally had posted the story, said she had observed the boy for a while before approaching him to enquire what the boy was carrying in the heavy plastic bags. After finding out the sad story of the boy, she had offered to buy one of the fruits and had felt proud for the boy’s sake when he had refused a tip as he was “showing self-respect to his age”. According to the storyteller, it’s a good trait when a sick poor boy refuses alms and wants to overcome his burden with only honest earnings.
Having posted the exact location and time for this encounter, she urged her friends to help the boy. In the thousands of replies she had received, one thing was being repeated. May God help him. God knows his name even if we don’t, God will come to his aid. God is great, God will take care of the boy. Pray for God to help the boy.
Now, there’s nothing wrong in praying or believing in God. But it’s alarming and frustrating when otherwise sensible people thrust all the responsibility to a god’s hands to help a young boy in need and see or consider no other solution. Such as taking action and helping him out. Worse even, there were many sharing the story, saying they go to the same location often and hope to see the boy and pray for him. Really? He’s not a sight, an attraction to go look and wonder at. He doesn’t need people looking at him pityingly or even in awe for his “self-respect”. Prayers won’t buy him his medication nor pay for the operation.
Was it to a god or to the state, it’s trending to leave the responsibility for ourselves and for others to someone, anyone but ourselves.
If there’s a god, we can hardly influence his actions. But in democratic countries where those in possession of power have been elected by people, by us, we can start demanding for universal healthcare coverage. We can donate money to organizations helping those in need. We can show compassion and be willing to act. There is a lot everyone of us can do when we meet someone who needs help.
Say a prayer and ask God for help. But if he’s not listening or has other plans, why not step up yourself and take action? If there’s a God, I bet he too would appreciate compassionate actions from his followers toward each other. Do it yourself. Let’s help each other. I’m sure God wouldn’t mind.