The face humanity… Looking pretty doubtful to me…

Normally, as opposed to taking lunch time siestas, Ken and I would usually take our lunchtime strolls around town because:
1) it helps digests our lunch
2) we’re getting our daily doses of sunlight
and 3) we’re like old men and we enjoy our own private rants about our workplace as well as the things we see on the streets. Surprisingly, it never gets old…

However, todays post isn’t about me and Ken as he had to stay back at camp… One of my other good friend named Will dropped by and asked what I was having for lunch. Having already ordered umm… lamb noodles wassit? I told him I could accompany him for lunch after I’ve finished if he wanted to, to which he replied, ‘alright’. I had felt he wanted to… ‘talk’ about something from his exasperated expression.

I took Will on my usual lunchtime stroll route after lunch. A few friendly small talk afterwards, he began to divulge something which had upset him that morning. It was earlier that morning, around 10.30am, there had been loud tire screeches with the sounds of a car crashing followed shortly after. Will described how the people in his entire department all stood up immediately and rushed over to the closest window to see what happened. All he could think about was what if the people were hurt. Wanting to dial 119 (the emergency number here) in haste he reached for the phone listening to a dial tone but he couldn’t get the details straight in his head. In his panicked state of mind, he asked nearby colleagues by the window what the address of that intersection was and where the accident happened.
Everyone was so absorbed by the drama that was unfolding that they had all ignored him. One of the aunties said it’s on Chongxing Road… which he already had known, but he wasn’t sure on the other one. It had felt like hours until he eventually had gotten all the details, but that was several minutes too slow he had felt. All that had gone through his mind was what if that had been someone he knows or even worse… a family member. It was also possible that it could have been a fellow colleague or someone who they knew also… all those people could do was just watch… how many of those precious minutes had been wasted because people were too busy watching the accident take place. He cursed them all in his thoughts right then and there.

After he had made the emergency call, in a fit of frustration and anger, he took to social media FB to express all his rage at the heartlessness of his colleagues as a whole. He’s quite a down to earth person, good natured, and definitely cool-headed. But this event really pushed him over the edge. How can his colleagues, people who he sees day-in, day-out, be so cold-hearted. He felt disgusted. He did not name them by name, but directed to them as an entire stereotypical profession. And with all his vent up angst all put on-screen, he pressed the ENTER key to publicise it. It wasn’t before long that he had gotten many replies. One of them being his Sister. She immediately called as soon as she saw and asked him to take it down a.s.a.p. She told him she understood how he must have felt, but putting it the way he had, made it made the whole situation quite detrimental to his image as a person and his ethical value. Whilst standing up for what he believes full-heartedly is commemorable, but badmouthing a whole syndicate of officials wasn’t the most mature way to go about it. She urged him again to please take it down and tried to appeal to him the seriousness of the situation. And he did after some careful thought, but he was still quite disturbed about what had happened.    

I spent awhile trying to digest everything he had told me. I asked myself the same questions and I was surprised. Even though I do feel similar about how the event had evolved, I don’t think I have met someone who seems as honest and pure. I can see he really cares about the eco-system, he really cares for being environmentally green, and he really cares for humanity.
We had reached a park and I sat him down at the bench. I told him some of my experiences, some of my thoughts, and some of my perspectives of how things are and how they should be. I gave him examples of what I meant, I told him that it was okay to actually get pissed off about things like this. I also told him how things can be seen positively and that it may not be so grim.
He sat there carefully listening to what I had to say, never interrupting, but a sincere look about his face and agreeable nods.

Will sat there for a moment… silently pondering to himself. He looked up at me and then smiled.

“Thanks, I feel better now…”


UPDATE 21/03: It was just reported this morning to us that the girl that was hit in the accident had died from internal injuries from the accident. When I heard it announced, I looked over at Will and he had a forced smile on his face, but I could see a bit of sadness in his eyes. I walked over to him and said, ‘you did your part already. Good job!’ He looked back at me and tightened his lips and replied… ‘thanks!’

  1. Dear Allen. Sounds like Will is an outstanding individual, and I am glad that you were there for him to talk to.

    Whilst all he did was correct, and he has a right to be fustrated, I don’t think the lack of action necessarily points to a lack of “humanity”.

    I think everyone is too stunned to do anything, and being in a situation they do not frequently encounter, they do not know what to do. Yes, we are all “taught” to call in an emergency, but no one prepares for it in real life. All victims of the bystander effect.

    It is a shame though, that this “phenonmenon” happens all across the world. Where people are engrossed in watching, rather than helping. I like to think, that is it because they do not know what to do, rather than making a conscious decision not to help.


    • Yeah, he is…
      I know what you mean, and I guess I wouldn’t totally blame it on “humanity” but I too had thought about the situation and if I was there, I’d be like… ‘oh shit, what’s gonna happen…’
      So basically in other words, I’ll be like the rest of them too. But I wouldn’t be ignoring him if he was trying to ask me a question. That’s probably the only thing I’d done differently to them.
      It’s strange though. I know it’s been taught many times to me that when something happens that requires emergency, calling for help is the first priority… but it still never clicks through… =(

      • I don’t think anyone intended to ignore him. Maybe they were too stunned or engrossed in the situation. There’s that saying, when in fear/fright/shock, your brain/mind/soul scatters, and you don’t know what to do. Grounded theory!

      • That I know is true also… but there really are some people that are just that heartless… =(

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