Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Face of Poverty

A girl selling Sampaguita knocks on the window of the cab. The driver firmly shakes his head. The girl insists' Sige na po kuya.. Pambaon lang po..' The driver rolls down the window of the cab and yelled "Hindi sabi eh! Ang kulit mo ah!" The girl then, realizing that she won't make a sale, hit the cab's window with her fist and ran away shouting, "Panget!" I saw this exchange of words and I just shook my head.. Frankly, I don't know how to react anymore.. Should I be sympathetic to the child who clearly needs the money but may just use it in gambling on the streets or should I applaud the driver for standing his grounds though he's a bit rash? Who should take the blame for the ever increasing numbers of street children? The government? Or the parents? Should we give in to every child's plea of "barya lang po" or should we ignore them and just hope that they reach their homes safely? In the first place, where is home?

When I watch the news and I see people from the slums area, shouting in anger and blaming the government for their misfortunes, I can't help feeling annoyed.. Not at the government but at these poor people who do not do anything to alleviate their conditions. Should we always blame other people for our inadequacy to help ourselves? How come there are rags to riches stories if it is really impossible to improve your way of life without the government's help? If you're really so poor that you can no longer enjoy three square meals a day, why then, will you bring another person to this world to share your miseries? Do you really want your kids to suffer the way you do? What makes me even frustrated is knowing that while these kids are begging on the streets, their parents are elsewhere, drinking themselves to death or otherwise gambling away the money that's supposed to bring food to their table. In the end, it all boils down to one thing. Responsibility. When you create a life, you are responsible for that life. Poverty does not give you an excuse to neglect your responsibilities as a parent. I think some people are taking the saying 'Good things come to those who wait' too literally. Do more than just wait. Act. Help yourself before expecting others to help you..