#017: I am Hero

One more week and I’ll be free to enjoy my remaining 2 weeks of my school holiday. My social obligation cum community training stint is soon to be over but not without its own rough edges. Before that, let me share to you some of my experience of my social work at this little community daycare centre named Sunflower Centre.

Adjusting to the surrounding is what matters most to me during my first week there as I begin to become accustomed to the staff and most importantly, the children. Maybe children is not exactly the correct word for it as there are many of them who are at the legal age (by legal, I mean driving licence legal), some even older. In fact, at these final weeks of my time there, I begin to enjoy my companion of “special friends” and have to be honest, they are a lovely bunch. Then also comes the unfortunate side of the story.

A boy. Neglected. Lunch, only stale rice. If lucky, there will be some soy sauce stained on that stale rice. Once in a blue moon when things got luckier for him, there’s even frankfurter. Half of a piece, to be exact. Severely thin. Mentally disabled. Poor fellow, I said to myself. If this continues, how long is he going to survive? Not as surprising though, I was told the parents could not care any less about him. Or maybe his mentally ill mother could not justify rationally of how a healthy food should look like. In case, how a proper meal should look like. Also not as surprising is that there was another similar case of neglect before. But that was several years ago. That boy was already dead then. Remorseful father only came to his sense at his son’s funeral. Maybe he deserves it, I don’t know. But that sure had coming when a child is severely neglected.

Just now, I had a steamy argument with my dad. On Father’s Day, of all the days. The topic? That neglected boy. I told him before this and a few days later, he asked me to get the boy’s contact details. I nearly did when I was stopped to the point where the principal of the centre told me that it was beyond her control. Nor the Malaysia Red Cresent Society Miri Chapter. If that can’t help, how will my dad can? He told me that he will inform the general hospital’s director cum member of the local Red Crescent Society who is also my father’s boss. From there, she would contact the press so that it would get immediate attention from the welfare authorities. Few days later, I failed to produce the details for my father to feed to his boss. That surely upsets him. Unfolds a war of words on the view of moral rights. To my defence, my mind was elsewhere to worry about my recently presented talk (which I did well) and had totally forgotten about the boy. That was not the issue. He said that every human being who believes in God should help others, in hope for retribution. I clearly said that praises are not what I wish for but staunchly defended that my role is only miniscule for other’s sake and in that I fail to do so, as if the boy’s fate is all my wrongdoing. He did not put it that way, of course. But his words are as though that the sin of not helping the boy is all on my shoulder. I felt exactly that way and I am not happy by the way it feels.

Call it guilt, call it conscience, call it regret, call it whatever you want. I immediately worked on some effort to get the boy into the attention for welfare support. And I did it singlehandedly, without asking anything for return. Of course, I won’t to tell my father about it and probably never will. What I hope for is for a reply that assures me that actions will be taken for the boy’s sake. I know I feel like a failure as a follower of God but that doesn’t mean that such goodwill do not have its consequences. I am aware of this, which is why I hesistated to take a move in the first place. I don’t want my father to change his mind when he comes to knowledge of what may or will happen to that boy. All I’m hoping for is that he realizes helping others won’t do any good them as intended and once you get involved, there is no turning back – other than to shoulder that responsibility of what is to come to yourself. Because only with power, then you can bear the responsibility to help them. I did my role and obviously, now I have stepped hold to bear this responsibility.

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