As I was walking along the streets in District 1 (similar to Singapore’s Orchard Road), this street kid unexpectedly approached and begged me.
“1 dollar (USD) please… 1 dollar please… I want to eat”
“No. I don’t have”
My firmed reply fell on deaf ears as it didn’t seem to deter him and he actually followed me for another good 1 km as I walked on.
This kid was really persistent. (!?)
Feeding with Fish or Teaching to Fish
Wanting to practice wise giving (for you never know what the money is really used for), I thought it more beneficial that aid was not given for the reason not to encourage begging from someone who was young and completely healthy.
If he always got his way, then he would rely on this (begging) and would not want to work and be an asset to society.
Was I being heartless by not readily parting with a meager USD1?
I am for one, a believer in this principle: Give a man a fish, you feed for a day. Teach a man how to fish, you feed him for life.
Eventually God provided an alternative without compromising my principle. I bought him two buns which he gleefully accepted and went away with.
Land without Vision
The next day, I had an opportunity to hang out with some neighbourhood kids. They were such angels. However, after feeling happy with the time spent with them, I was shortly overcame with sadness when I thought about their future.
Judging (based on a general observation) from the common way of life, culture and political influence in HCMC, one would be able to foretell the paths that these kids would be walking towards. They would be following their parents’ footsteps and doing what everybody else is doing in general- contentment in merely surviving and living by in order to make ends meet.
Though this kind of living is not wrong and is found in almost every society including Singapore, but in HCM City where the standards of living is underdeveloped, it is disheartening to observed how the people were not inspired, led and taught towards a better quality of life for themselves and their families. At least in Singapore, we have a general vision of attaining the 5 c’s. This so-called vision, has somewhat driven our nation over the years to excel and thrive to what we are today.
In my personal opinion, it is because the people in HCMC have not be shown any sort of long-term vision of what life could and can be, apart from the life they now know. Thus, the endless similar cycle of low-quality living.
Much Needed Shepherds
“When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”
The above verse from Matthew 9:36, best describes the state of this city. The people especially their children (the future generation) needs to be mentored and trained in order that they might be the future leaders for their country and society.
Hopefully, more leaders will lead the way for the people towards an alternative way of life that was meant to be.