Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Torn between two situations

My bf and I were enjoying our “huge” burgers from Carl's Junior for dinner (“huge” sized comparatively to the regular burgers sold here) The burger size topic will be an interesting topic in another entry.

Anyway, I noticed this little dark boy around 10 years old or below in his cobalt blue Baju Melayu. He was going around tables with Malay patrons, asking for a donation. He was holding a clear plastic cup and a piece of paper. Since he didn’t dropped by my table, I had no idea what was on the paper; thus assuming it was a donation. Most of the patrons donated a little to the boy.

In fact, about roughly 30 minutes later, the boy reappeared to get more donations from the new set of Malay patrons.

After our meal, we wandered off separately to the nearby retails and later met back with my bf near the arcade (games) area. He motioned me to take a look at the 3rd “player” from the left of the rows of car racing game (like Daytona, etc type). I noticed it was a little boy in his Baju Melayu and walked away puzzled; wondering why did my bf asked to me to look at him.

Sigh.. my brain is slow to process these information, but a minute later, I realized it was the same boy I saw in Carl’s Junior. Guess he has been getting free games? We just walked away amazed.

Maybe we should give him a chance and assumed in between collecting donations, he was getting a rest. But then, nowadays, society scares us with heinous crimes based on pity, sympathy, caring and vulnerability tactics.

Other scenarios

There are many forwarded e-mails that illustrate conman tactics in fleecing your money from you. One writes about a women going around with a baby asking for help and later on a few guys will jump at you and rob you. A little “lost” boy will be asking you to help him go home and upon reaching his “house”, you get robbed.

A lady with a little girl will be asking you some questions in your shop in a pretense to divert your attention as the little girl go through your stuff and steal right under your nose. A couple poses as a potential customer as you are about to close your bridal boutique and then rob you. These last two examples are from the newspaper. And there may be countless more which have happened and not reported.

Hence, how can we be a caring and compassionate society when these few opportunists spoil the environment we live in by taking advantage of us?

We are torn between two situations: take a risk to care or ignore and don’t care. Should we choose either one, someone will lose out in the end... either the real victim or the gullible "hero".

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