Thursday, July 19, 2007

Humanity & Fear

I was driving to a McDonald's outlet near where I live, and I had my wife with me in the car. Waiting in line to give our order taken, i noticed an old, scruffy looking man walking towards the general direction of the line of cars, coming from the main supermarket area.

When I looked towards this man, i realized he was walking towards my car. He looked me in the eye from the curb, and walked in front of my car, stopping just behind my left-side mirror, and raised his right arm towards me, fixing his fingers in a 'please wait' gesture.

I took a closer look at him. He was wearing quite a filthy looking dishdasha, uncovered head, bushy eyebrows & mustache, about 5'6", curly hair, with white sides. His eyes were weary, and his posture was that of a drunk, or someone on drugs, because he had a slight bit of trouble keeping still.

My wife immediately freaked out (can't say I blame her!) and begged me not to roll down the window and asked me to lock up the car's doors. SO i did, and calmly I just gestured back to the old man with a 'thanks, we don't want any' wave with my hand, and a small smirk on my face while doing it.

He begged me three times to give him a chance to hear him out, and I just waved him off. So he walked to the Minivan in front of me, looked at the driver - who was Asian - and continued on to the next car, driven by a woman. I could see that he began to speak with the woman, gesturing with his arms towards the main highway, and at one point, wiping his face with the scruff of his dishdasha's arms. For a moment, he had his hands held together in his lap and his head bowed down, as if he were a child being told off.

The lady handed him a couple of folded bills, I couldn't make out the exact amount because of the distance. The old man took the bills in his right hand, thanked her, and then turned around and crossed the street over to the other side, and began to waive for someone to pick him up!

I was feeling very bad, at this point, for not even hearing his story out. For all I knew, he could have been some old man with a history of forgetting things, or suffering from some form of old-age symptoms or something. All the time, I was cursing myself silently for not helping this old man out. As I waited, though, I kept on monitoring this old man, who was still trying to wave for someone to pick him up.

When it was my turn to get my order I paid and wanted to add to my order something that I could offer to the old man, out of guilt, i suppose! I didn't, but instead decided to give him some money or something. I drove out of the restaurant's drive-in and proceeded towards the old man who, when I looked for him, was still walking towards the main road.I realized something at that point; What I did was very very mean and inhuman! I felt very much like a skunk! Incidentally, when I told my wife this, she immediately admitted that it was her fault for freaking me out & conceded to help the old man out. That made me more determined than ever to help this poor soul out.

By the time I drove into the roundabout and back towards where the old man was standing, he was speaking into a new gold-colored Chevy SUV, driven by a young man, clean-shaven, wearing sports clothes. What I saw next really made me feel worse than I was already feeling: The Old man pulled open the passenger door and got into the SUV!

I thanked God for the kindness of this young man, and asked God to preserve him, the old man, my family and all brethren all over the world. I also asked to be forgiven for ignoring a fellow human in need. I had one comforting thought, though, although i was ashamed of not helping this man out, I felt relieved that someone had actually did help him out.

It's around 1:22am now as I'm writing this post, this incident happened around 11:15pm. Almost two hours, and I still can't get this man's image out of my head! I didn't even hear his voice )I had Nora Jones playing on my iPod!)I really am very sorry for not helping him out, I don't know what one should do in this situation, so I decided to post it here, hoping that it could somehow be some sort of redemption for ignoring a fellow human in need. The morale of the story here is: Fear is humanity's worst enemy, nothing else compares to it!

Nothing more to say really, just simply ashamed...

1 comment:

bb q8 said...

wow man, that's sad! but you know it's happened to all of us some or other time! Sometimes we just don't want to think about it..
sorry you couldn't do something for the guy..
it will make me think twice next time this sort of thing happens!