Wednesday, March 02, 2011

in her own words

"Pag nawala na yung pera, wala na yung kabaitan
[When the money’s gone, the kindness is gone].”

I did not know the entirety of the story but that statement from an old lady vendor—who I passed by in the waiting shed on my way to work yesterday—packed a lot of punch.

Whether its impact to me is based on first hand validation or a general understanding of man’s attitude towards money, I just find the declaration saddening.

Coming from a woman who sells cigarettes, candies, and homemade sandwiches early in the morning to bring home the bacon (no mocking pun intended) to her family, the words bear all the weight of a necessary means to accept things as they are. Maybe someone’s just in a tough episode in their lives, maybe I am just conjuring things up in my head.

But if what I thought is right, even if I do not like the sound of fatalism, no one’s to blame people feel that way. Look around, even those in the upper echelons of our country are stirring in a bag of controversy because of money—both in the presence and absence of it. There’s Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, there’s the military send-off pabaons to retiring AFP chiefs, and I am sure there’s even more we do not know.

They say money is the root of all evil, but I think money is only evil in the wrong hands. And if that money is gone in those hands, you can say all hell will break loose. And subsequently, kindness will be hard to find.

Until all of this will come to a positive resolution, we will share the same sentiment with the old lady vendor.

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