Friday, May 9, 2008

Signs of The Times?

This is a very depressing story indeed. One that shatters a life long myth that I hold so close to my heart. Even though I am hard up financially since I could no longer actively work for a living, my house in our town has been some sort of a haven for people who have less in life. My friends who are in need would readily find a giving heart from me. I never consider it a loan but a love gift. I do it not for myself but to become a very small channel of God's blessings to others. Oh don't get me wrong, we are far from having an abundant and prosperous life, but whatever we have, we were willing to share them with our less fortunate brethren. Of course, there were occasional cases of abuses by others, but I immediately put a stop to any form of abuse.

There was a particular case of a little girl who would ask for plastic pet bottles from us to sell them to junk shops. There were times when we would have surpluses of bread which normally go to waste. When I asked her if she wanted bread, she said yes. And from that time on, she would be at our gate every morning to get her bread. There were times when we have a surplus of viands and I would be including them with the bread.

This morning, something happened that shattered my belief in an established norm of society. A little boy appeared at our gate very early in the morning. I asked him what he wanted. He did not say anything. I was about to ignore him when I remembered that the little girl used to have a younger brother with her in earlier times. I asked him if he was the brother of the little girl. And he said yes. I asked her where her sister was. He said she was still asleep. I gave him the usual share of bread for the day. Going back inside the house, I resumed my interrupted breakfast. After a little while, I heard the voice of the little girl who used to receive bread from us everyday and I realized I was gypped by that little boy. I explained to the little girl what happened. But I was crestfallen with what happened. That little boy shattered the myth that I long believed, that little innocent children never tell a lie. I was totally wrong. What poverty can do to the scruples of a young not so innocent boy.



Tags: Poverty, Street Children, Hunger, Deprivation, Charity, Love

Posted by: Mel Avila Alarilla


ceedy said...

hey Mel

its not sign of times....its just what hunger and poverty can do....
its a white lie according to me...and this small experience should not deter us from helping others....there are always different people around....

have been away for a while so catching up...hope everything is fine with you

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Ceedy,
Probably you are right. But somehow it shattered my firm belief before that little innocent children do not tell lies. I always thought that it would take them quite sometime to learn how to tell a lie when they are a little grown up with many negative experiences behind them. Well, there are always exceptions to rules and established norms of society. Thanks for your visit and intelligent comments. God bless.

SeaSpray said...

Maybe he was very hungry and desperate for food. I remember how awful that is.

And as you said...he was little. He might not have good examples around him. If he comes back you will have an opportunity to teach him in love.

I would seize that opportunity. You have a chance to teach him a valuable lesson that he may or may not receive at that time...but you will still be planting seeds. :)

If he comes back...let him know (with kindness and compassion on your face)that you want to give him some food but after you speak with him.

I would say something like ... I will be happy to give you some food but first I want you to know that I felt very hurt when I found out you lied to me about being the girl's little brother. I would have given you something because I would not want you to go away hungry. But when you did that it was like stealing from me and the little girl. (maybe he will say he is sorry at which point you say you forgive him and smile, give him a pat on the back, etc.)If he doesn't say anything...ask him how he would feel if someone did that to him?

I don't know how quiet this child is but I would not want to scare him or be angry but reach out with love and compassion.

You have an opportunity to teach him about Christian love, compassion for fellow man, forgiveness. he will remember you as a kind man.

Tell him you appreciate honesty and that it is something people will respect him for now and as he gets older.

Don't forget...he is a young child still in his formative years.

Roans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

I was an honest good little girl. But when i was five, I stole a candy bar from the store and then ate it behind our house. Then I went in and told my mother because i felt guilty. We walked right back to the store and I had to tell the owner what I did -stole from him, say I was sorry, tell him I would never do it gain and pay him. My mother never yelled at me but it was a lesson I never forgot. We are all still learning but little ones...they have much to learn and hopefully they have good examples before them.

i hope I haven't offended you or overstepped my bounds with my opinion but my heart went right out to both of you and the little girl.

Maybe you could even have him apologize to the little girl.

SeaSpray said...

I meant Romans 3:23

Raghu Ram Prasad said...

its the poverty capture the we have to fight to overcome the situation ....

Sangeeta Sinha said...

Poverty and need drive the children to the extent of lying. It is basically not their fault. It is their circumstances which make them like this.

Poverty is quite high here in India also. Though government is taking steps to eradicate it, it is proving to be very difficult and impossible.

Gusthav said...

Hi Mel, mmmm, I think the lie was in, I mean, you didn't know the little boy was not the little girl's brother.

But they saw you were giving bread and viands, well.

I think if they were adults, this would be "normal" to lie at good people. But I can't believe 2 children were doing that. Maybe an evil adult taught them to lie at good people.

Let me say good people is always prone to be cheated. Please, don't misunderstand my comment. Be still as good as you are.

Thanks for everything Mel, your comments, your support for me and Arthur, and your regular visits ti my poll, even it's a little abandoned.

Greetings and hugs

Nice Day, with my whole soul:

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Seaspray,
I appreciate your kind words and comments but I never got the chance to talk to him again. The little girl said afterwards that she already knew the little boy and I just left it at that. I leave it all to the gracious hand of God to teach the little boy good lessons in life. Until now, the little girl is still getting her regular share of bread from us. It is fascinating to note that although I still buy the same amount of bread as before, the volume of bread was always plentiful. I just considered it as a blessing for them from the Lord.
We are still besieged by all kinds of adult mendicants at our gate with all kinds of requests. I tell my maid to turn them down politely since I am not rich. There are other truly rich neighbors in our subdivision whom they can go to but they always choose my place. This episode never change my attitude towards people but I am very careful never to steal glory from the Lord and I ascribe all glory and praises to Him alone. Thanks for your visit and beautiful comments. God bless you and your loved ones always.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Raghu,
I can not do anything about the situation. I can only watch and pray. Poverty and deprivation have already seeped into our society that we always witness almost a kilometer queues of the poorest of the poor for government subsidized rice which are cheaper by more than ten pesos. How odious are our politicians who insist on just importing rice with so much kickbacks on the side rather than correct the agricultural situation in our country. The poor are only remembered by them during election times. Thanks for your visit and comments. God bless.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Sangeeta,
Yes, you are right. Grinding poverty, hunger and extreme deprivation have made our poor little children exposed to lives of unscrupulous behaviors. They become victims of foreign pedophiles and criminal syndicates. Poor people from our depressed provinces migrate to urban areas only to fall victims to a life of sin and crimes. I pray that the Lord will give us a righteous ruler who will truly serve our country and not engage in massive plunder and self enrichment. Thanks for your visit and sympathetic comments. God bless.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Gusthav,
No, the little girl did not lie. It was only the little boy who lied. Maybe, he was really hungry but too ashamed to tell me what he wanted that's why he resorted to tell a lie. It was my fault that I failed to recognize that he was not the little girl's brother. I could not help everybody who will come to our gate and ask for food or money since I am also hard up myself. The reason why I am doing this is that I am always conscious of what I will tell the Lord when He judges me. Thanks for your visit my young friend. And tell Arthur to take care of himself. Tell him, I am always praying for his speedy recovery. God bless you and your loved ones always my young friend.

fingertalks said...

that's a sad story...imagine what can poverty sad. really sad...but i can feel their hunger..their yearning for love...and need for food just to they resort to doing that.

i wish that the plan of GMA to have food for every table will materialize...i don't know when it will happen...i hope at the soonest.

hapi mother's day to ur wife and to ur mom, bro. mel!

am still not back to regular blogging..but i write an entry or two...occasionally.

take care!

Petite said...

Hi Mel, I have added your link here... Thanks for adding mine.

See you around and have fun always,

Ester's Daily Thoughts said...

You have big heart mel and I feel so bad for those kids.. Where are their parents? I hate to think bad about their parents, but they are so bad for letting their children live this kind of life.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Fingertalks,
You are always welcome to my blog. Thank you so much for your Mother's Day greetings, but my mother is already dead and my wife is now working in the States. Belated Happy Mother's Day to you too. No, GMA is the source of most of the problems in our country. She and her husband have been trying to sell the Philippines to the highest bidder. I'm so appalled at what's happening now in the Philippines. It is as if everybody has lost his conscience and is bent on just enriching himself. Instead of improving our agricultural self sufficiency, our politicians just import rice so they can have their lucrative kickbacks and sell them to the poor at great losses. Now, GMA wants to give a 3 pesos subsidy to public utility drivers to avoid mass actions and has been after the neck of Meralco to toss the blame of high electricity cost. She will do anything including give Spratly's and Palawan to the Chinese for billions of dollars of kickbacks. I see the faces and eyes of the people now. They are hungry and desperate and all GMA can think is saving her own skin. May God have mercy on her on her judgment day. You have to be here in our country to see the desperate situation of our people. I can only pray and watch with agonizing eyes. Thanks for your visit my friend and God bless you and your loved ones always.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Petite,
Thanks for the links. I really appreciate that. God bless.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Ester,
You have been away from our country and you cannot hear the cry of desperation of the poor. When I look at their eyes, all I can see is despair and extreme hunger. The lines to NFA rice has been a kilometer long and the government is losing billions of pesos because of the rice subsidy. They will be losing more billions because of their subsidy on diesel fuel to avert whatever mass actions people will undertake against her government. The "kurakot" in our country is already so sickening. Imagine they are trying to give Spratly and Palawan to the Chinese for billion dollars kickback. Nakakasuka na. The children are only innocent victims of the rapacious plunder of our government leaders. May God have mercy on their souls. Thanks for your visit and comments. God bless you and your loved ones always.

From the Eyes of my Heart said...

I've seen this happen countless times. since poverty is very rampant, many resort to "professional begging".

don't be discouraged, mel! keep helping =) I know you have that desire in you I pray that the Lord would give you a discerning heart on how to help our kababayans effectively!

just a suggestion- if you really want to help, donate to credible NGOs who are trained in helping people help themselves. God bless!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi From The Eyes of My Heart,
I don't have the money to give to NGOs. It's the day to day experience of interacting with people. As much as possible I try not to judge people (remember, "judge not that you may not be judged")but the Lord has given me discernment too to recognize those who abuse and those who are just professional beggars. It's just simply amazing why people come to me for help when I never had the means. Let the Lord help each and every child of His in His own ways. Thanks for the comments and suggestion. God bless you and your loved ones always my friend.

Ester's Daily Thoughts said...

owch!! aray ko, I needed this tips.. Thanks Mel.. I will try my best..heheheh

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Ester,
No offense meant my friend. I just want you to realize the extreme situation in our country. It's turning from bad to worse. I pray to God that we will all overcome these trials. Thanks and God bless my friend.

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7b)


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