WEALITY WEDNESDAY: The Realities We Accept


A little girl dressed in her public school skirt and sando got on the jeep I was on tonight. The driver tried to shoo her away but to no avail; the little girl wouldn’t budge. She just looked imploringly at the driver through the rear view mirror and they had a staring contest of sorts for a few seconds. A woman offered to pay for the little girl’s fare, so the driver stepped on the gas and carried on. When we handed him the fare, though, he said, “Hindi, wag na” (No, it’s alright), like he realized he could have been more compassionate to a girl who just wanted to get home.

I observed the girl for the duration of my trip. She sat there innocently, with sad, worried eyes, like it was normal for little girls to be so sad and worried. At one point, she looked at the woman who offered to pay for her fare and she held out her hand slightly, as if asking for alms but not really. She then looked at the trash bin in front of her and saw light bouncing off a shiny red can of Coke. She grabbed the can from the trash and stuffed it in her tiny bag, as well as two previously abandoned PET bottles, and I thought to myself, did she think this was a normal thing to do for a girl her age? Say five or six? If not, when did she realize it? When does a kid realize that he or she is poverty-stricken and how do their innocent minds take it? What is their idea of the world that they’re living in given their circumstance? Do they ever realize they’re missing out on their childhood ’cause they have to do things their parents should be doing for them at that point in their lives?

My heart broke right then and there and questions and ideas kept running through my mind on how to fix such problems in our society. But then I realize the problem’s already too big and I wonder if it will ever be eradicated, if there will ever be total equality and fairness, or if my old officemate was right in saying that this is really needed in the world so you can distinguish positive from negative, light from dark, good from bad, poor from rich…

Makes you think, doesn’t it? How our life choices are based on our standing in society… How we know poverty exists but we get caught up in our own (often purposeless) lives that we sometimes forget… That maybe it isn’t directly our fault this is happening but we’re ALL morally wired to do something about it because we just know it’s wrong… How it never seems to end… How I honestly see no end…

There’s just so many things I want to change in our system. A batchmate of mine said we can only truly focus on one.

I don’t know what to do.

2 comments

  1. excellent musings about a heart-breaking scenario. Truth be told, I don’t know what to do as well.

    1. Thanks, Daf!

      I forgot to add din: I wonder if the girl will ever remember that moment. If she’ll ever use that as fuel to do better or aim higher.

      Sigh. I seriously have so many feelings right now.

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