Life in the Fast Lane


Truth Thursday: I Am Here

By 10:37 AM , , , , , , ,

Thanks to Carina (her blog + her Instagram), I discovered Truth Thursdays.

I already had a topic in mind for my next blog entry, but since it somehow fit this week's Truth Thursday theme, I decided to incorporate it.

This is delayed (at least in my timezone), but in other parts of the world, it's still Thursday. So yay!


I am here.

I'm one person in a sea of faces riding the escalator leading to the train station. I'm tired after a long day at work, and all I want to do is reunite with my bed.

Photo from here.

I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn around to see an elderly lady smiling at me.

"Miss, may I borrow your cellphone? I really need to call home," she says in our native language, Filipino.

I hesitate for a nanosecond. The first thought that comes to mind is this: I don't trust you, lady. You're going to run off with my phone.

The second thought that comes to mind: Why me? You could've asked the person standing next to you. So you chose me for some shady reason.

I remember briefly that incident one year ago when I experienced a panic attack after realizing that both of my phones were stolen. Ever since then, I've been even more wary of people. As soon as strangers are within an arm's length from me, I swing my bag against my chest and hug it with two hands. As soon as a cab driver takes an alternate route, I panic and ask him to go back to a route I'm more familiar with.

I've realized that I just can't trust [most] people anymore. Not even those who supposedly need my help. People have told me time and time again not to give to beggars on the street because they're all part of some syndicate; that it will just contribute to an endless cycle of dependence and poverty.

This is such a sad and ironic thought. 

As a Christian, I'm supposed to love people and to help out those in need. I know this, and my four-year-old self would have robotically recited to me, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other." 

But how can I when it's hard to trust the very people who might need your help? 

Times haven't been easy, which makes it so much easier for people to resort to duping others, stealing from them, hurting them, and even killing them. 

Because of this, I feel like I have to choose whom I can help. I can't freely open my doors, so to speak, to everybody. I have to be guarded. And honestly, this is such a sobering thought.

So I turn to look at the lady and with a sad smile, I tell her, "No, sorry, I have to go." And I brisk walk as fast as I can without looking back to see her reaction.

I whisper a silent prayer to tell God I'm sorry for neglecting to help her (if, in fact, she really did need a phone to call home). But I tell Him that I hope He understands why I did what I did.

So, I am here. 

Caught in a web of wanting to help those in need and needing to protect myself.

Wondering if I'm being selfish by being guarded in the first place and mentally punishing myself for this.

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  1. Interesting. Will be joining this one as well. Thanks for sharing, Tina :)

  2. Hey, Sherry!

    Thanks for dropping by! Looking forward to a future #TruthThursday post from you. :)


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