There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
In this battered world, it seems an act of kindness may lead trouble to ourselves. Look at the warnings we have been getting through forwarded emails; don’t stop your car if you see a man lying on the road, don’t offer ride to strangers, don’t talk to strangers or even give your money should the strangers needed it. It is because the bad guys use the vulnerable point of a human, the feeling of compassion to get what they desired. We are then left with distraught feelings and fear, aside from the physical hurt, damage or loss in the process of being a good Samaritan. Will we ever able to offer an act of kindness again without being haunted by the irrevocable past?
I personally encountered rather an interesting episode of kindness last few years back. It happened during a PC Fair(I think), at Civic Centre. I was alone then. So, I parked my car behind Civic Centre and use the back entrance staircase. As I walked up I saw a well dressed man, standing still, looking troubled. Minding my own business I walked bypass him, and he came up to me, saying hello.
He said he just got mugged and he needed money to go back home to his hometown, Serian or Sri Aman, I couldn’t remember. I asked him why he didn’t ask his relative to pick him and he said he got no relatives here and that he took bus which ended up here. His mobile phone also got mugged together with his cash thus now he needed some cash to get back home. Naive me asked how much he needed, and he said “RM20.00.” I told him I got no change, and I had only RM50.00 with me then. He looked so sincere and said that he does not need RM50.00 cos it’s a lot and he needed RM20.00 only. He also said once he get back to his hometown, he promised to pay me back. So what he suggested is to get a spare change from the RM50.00 and he will wait for me where he is. So I walked away, sheepishly looking for a change, and ironically, all the cafe closed then, cos it’s a Sunday.
My intention wasn’t entirely to attend a PC Fair but to drop by to see my loved one. So I thought of getting some change from him and on the way walking towards the hall, I met one of his friends, Ray* and told him I needed some change. Ray asked me why I need it for thus I relate the whole story to him. His face reaction changed, and told me the guy is a swindler and had been there before, telling the exact same story to unsuspecting victims. Shocked and horrified, I told him I have to use the same way back to my car, and there’s no way of escaping him. There’s a guilt feeling because I had somewhat agreed to give him the RM20.00. Ray said he parked his car up front so he will drive me to my car, which in that way, bypassing meeting him.
Feeling relieved upon reaching my car, I actually lectured myself on how foolish I am to fall for this kind of trap. Am I too compassionate that I never think with my head and followed too much with my heart? Or am I just being silly and naive to believe such a story? What caught me in trusting his words was that he was not greedy enough to want my RM50.00 instead he insist RM20.00 will be enough for his bus ride. So tell me, how do I conduct my act of kindness again to the real deal? Then what got into my mind on the most logical solution to this is letting the police to handle the whole situation. I am sure the police could do something about this poor guy and he will probably get a free transport home courtesy of the merciful fellow policemen.
Digging this old story was actually to relate to a pretty recent incident that I had with my girlfriend last September. We just came out from our church service and sitting in the car, chatting away on planting a birthday surprise attack when suddenly an old lady knocking on the car window. Looking astonished, my girlfriend wind down the window just enough for us to hear what the lady got to say. The lady explained that she’s not local and she was wondering where she could get a taxi back to her hotel. My girlfriend asked her how did she get to the church at the first place and she said that she use taxi to get to the church, unknowingly to her that there’s no return back the same way since there’s no taxi stand outside our church. I forgot if the lady did ask about the bus service, but it’s already 7pm++ and any bus won’t bring her to city area based on my own personal knowledge. My girlfriend and I exchanged look, in that very moment without much thinking, I am so eager to give a lift to this lady but dare not to suggest it as it wasn’t me driving to begin with. She’s a stranger, she could be a wolf behind a sheep’s clothing and my girlfriend, being a more rational person than me, agreed to bring this lady to her hotel.
Let just say this lady managed to get to her hotel, and my girlfriend said if she’a alone she won’t be offering this kind of ride, because out of impulsive kindness, we might get ourselves in trouble. A serious one. It’s true, since more and more people had the intention to deceive nice people just to get what they wanted.
I then learnt the kindness exercised in the ancient age could no longer be practised in the same manner this age as there’s an amount of consideration and safety measures that need to be taken care of before offering our sincere help to people who genuinely in trouble.
Suffice to say, I need to wise up not only using my heart but my head.
Don’t get too emotionally involved. It can hurt you deeply.
*name has been changed to protect the said’s privacy.
First Edited :- September 2007
Second Edited :- February 2008