“May bayad po yung bata (Is the seat for the child paid)?” A pregnant lady asked another bus passenger rather loudly, her voice sounded quite scandalous in the fully loaded bus to Manila.
Sitting comfortably with a little boy beside her, she said “Oo (Yes).” I was ignoring them until an older lady sitting with the boy and mother began to retort.
“Kaya nga nakaupo yung bata kasi binayaran (That’s why the child is sitting because his seat has been paid)” She said in a croaked voice. Now the pregnant lady was already given a seat by a younger man. She heard the old lady’s loud murmur and answered back. “Nagtatanong lang naman po (I just asked).” But the old lady kept on murmuring and even called the pregnant lady crazy.
Now, I wondered to myself, if she, a grandmother herself, had she not been into the pains of childbirth, too?
Besides, all the pregnant lady wanted was a seat, as she was already heavy with a child.
But instead of offering her a seat, she was shunned away…maybe offended at the tone of her voice or her seemingly strong presence. The woman was trying to be strong though I’m sure was feeling uneasy.
But sadly, the grandmother seemed to have lost the broader perspective.
I understand they have paid the child’s seat, and the boy deserve it in place of that payment. But should these people have had the broader perspective of understanding the pregnant lady and her condition, I guess, they would have been even more blessed.
Most people have lost the broader perspective and have only focused on themselves. We have the right to for their rights, to shun off every offense, but we don’t see the need of others.
The Bible tells us to regard others better than ourselves. The call of humility is easy to scream at, but the endowment of this trait into our system is not that easy.
We have been taught to get our rights, but our culture has not taught us to open our eyes and be sensitive to the needs of others.
Thus, we fight against each other to get our rights, like dogs eating each other for a piece of stale bread.
How should we get a broader persepective? Only when we silence our own selfishness, try to get into the shoes of others, and sacrifice even a little bit of ourselves for them.
I admit, I’m still at this battling stage. And with this society, the need to learn humility, as my fellowmen also has the same needs and rights as I do.
And as a fellow human being, I must not disregard to my fellow man their needs and rights as I do have.
But it’s a long road before everyone in this society, even me, to capture the broader perspective.
But let’s begin that journey now.