I woke up today with nothing in mind. I did not look forward to anything or ever planned of doing anything. Sunday, after all, is my only bonus day.
My family planned to hear mass at 9 am. Because it was a cloudy day, we were all beating the ‘deadline’. We left home past the mass schedule. We were late.
I know myself. I’ve been in defensive driving for the past 10 years. I must admit I did fail to convince traffic enforcers to confiscate my license due to simple road violations. However, when it comes to safety, I have always made sure no one gets hurt.
While I was heading towards Makati bridge, I needed to step on half-break because of the curve. I saw a male beggar crossing the street. I admit he was too close, but everything was calculated so I was confident. Within a wink of my eye…blaaaagghh! The beggar was hit!
I pulled over immediately. I set the hazard lights. Then I quickly ran to rescue my victim. He was carrying a container with a few teaspoons of rice left (here we go again!). I assisted him to the car. While inside the maneuvering car in the busy intersection of Makati Avenue, we asked him which part of his body was injured the most. Without any agreement, instinct told me to rush him to the nearest Ospital ng Makati. While heading the hospital, however, he told us he was not hurt much and he could only feel a minor pain in his right leg. He just wanted money so he could buy his child a medicine for German Measles. I was adamant at first, but I also wanted to cut the tension very shortly. He won. We left him a few meters away from the Makati City Hall. We thought the mass is almost at its peak. We were very late. But I’m sure God is good in understanding that it happened for humanitarian reason. The end.
I hate analyzing the situation, but my mental curiosity may not allow it.
At one point, we entered into what Covey calls a ‘win-win’ situation. We both resolved the issue. I, for one, am not really guilty of what happened because I knew how it started and how it went. We gave him money, instead. We had the issue settled ‘out-of-court’. He, on the other hand, did not suffer from major injuries, not even bruises. He also resolved the problem of buying medicine for his kid. And it was more than what the medicine costs.
On second thought, and pardon me for this, I was not really lucky. I felt I was even victimized before the storyline came to its end.
While in school, we were trained to look at one situation from various perspectives. The German sociologist Max Weber, for example, has always reminded social scientists to set aside personal biases and prejudices in order to understand the situation better.
The situation made me feel a little weaker because I was not really convinced of what happened.
First, the old man did not allow us to deliver him to the hospital. He probably knew that the hospital will need police assistance in resolving the matter after medications have been offered. Since there was no injury at all, it would consume a short time for the resident emergency physician to get him diagnosed. Then, as a standard operating procedure, the hospital asks both parties to affix signatures, allowing involved parties to understand that the issue has been resolved, and no further court settlements will be made.
Second, when police authorities arrive, they will discover that the old man crossed that part of the road where no pedestrians are not allowed to cross at all. It is still part of the bridge, and maneuvers and swerving, etc..happen on that area. He might be up to more complicated situations (of course, I’m not free from that!).
Lastly, although we are at peace that we were able to rescue a sick child, we are not really sure whether there was, indeed, a sick child. In today’s situation, poverty brings some people to very creative inventions in order to generate money. I would be sad one day if I see or hear about that old man hit by another car in that same area again.
This is just a matter of opinion. I do not involve any scientific paradigm in order to present a very objective discourse. I am happy that the issue has ended without me being pulled behind bars (that’s too exaggerated!).
I know my readers will not be pleased at all because I made myself completely detached from the humbling experience. But from the very start, I already thought something was wrong.
This day has, indeed, reminded me of the importance of life and of road safety. But sadly, this is not a good day.
Thanks to my friend Drew for forwarding this reminder: “..if all good things must come to an end, don’t worry, all bad things eventually will end too.”