"Kuya, penge po ng barya, gutom na po ako. Hindi pa ako kumakain, kuya…"
That was from a young boy, about 5 years old, trying to hold our gate as I was about to close it. I just arrived from work. My belief that it is illegal and it is not right to give to beggars made me stubbornly ignored him and closed the gate. Knowing that I can still hear him, he continued to beg, perhaps hoping that I’d change my mind and turn back to give something.
I feel pity for the boy, but at the same time trying to convince myself that I was right. He's voice echoed in my mind before going to sleep that day. I am aware that I may seriously lack kindness in my heart. But something’s telling me that I did the right thing. There goes my usual sentiments; I wasn’t born rich either. I grew up with basically nothing. I never begged, nor did anyone in my family thought me to beg. My parents worked hard to provide us our needs. Often just enough, that anything in excess is considered luxurious. I learned it all the hard way. Blah! Blah! Blah! So, why should I let anyone, especially a young boy, think that begging is the only way to be able to eat?
In fact, didn’t I just teach him a lesson? I have shown him how cruel some people could get, and that the world is indeed unfair (insert cliché). That he has to work very hard to get what he wants and it may be fine to beg, but never expect to get something from it. Someday these experiences will make him strong.
Or am I wrong? I realized that maybe I am just making excuses to justify my unsympathetic act. Who am I to conclude that I was indeed teaching him a lesson? In his young, innocent mind, I could be just one of the rude, unkind individuals whom I believe he encounters everyday.