Saturday, February 07, 2009

Cart Pushing

On this Saturday morning, I was trying to find a quiet place to read my newspaper when the woman passed by with her heavy cart. This is, in fact, a common sight in Hong Kong. Many people, young and old, make their living this way.

My first thought was that it was heavy, dirty and dangerous work - just look at the cars, taxis, and particularly minibuses and double-deckers zipping around her.

Then I felt a bit guilty. Here I was, trying to enjoy my newspaper in leisure, while the old lady was doing such heavy work for a living. (I was going to go back to my office afterwards, honestly.)

She had probably worked hard all her life. Shouldn’t she have saved enough for a retirement? Even if she hadn’t herself, shouldn’t her family, her children take care of her? Even if they couldn’t, shouldn’t our society provide our old folks with a dignified retirement? Why - Hong Kong is one of the wealthier places, and we do have some of the wealthiest people in the world, who easily spend a million dollars on a family vacation.

Do some people really have to work until they drop dead?

Are we really not our brothers’ keepers?

What do we say to our maker when we meet Him?


Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that Philip Yancy said we should actually give more in this financial downturn. This is a surefire investment, because we are investing in heaven.

"Investment" may not be the best way to put it, but our giving is an act of faith towards God, and an act of love towards the needy.

StephenC said...

Yeah, for those of us who have a steady job and income, the impact of the financial problems is not as severe as some others. And for some who are so wealthy that a loss of 90% does not really impact on their capacity to help, ...

Those who have the capacity naturally should do more.

On the one hand, it is investment in heaven. On the other, it is simply following Jesus' command: "when you see one of the little ones in need, ..."

It feels right too.