Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The right thing to do is not always the safest

On a shopping trip with my younger sister. We passed by a man on a street beating up a little kid. It was a busy street. There was a ton of people rushing about and there was this guy violently beating up his kid.

I looked because the boy was wailing in pain. I looked because I could hear the slaps and the fists hitting skin. I've never actually heard that sound before, although I had been beaten up before by an abusive boyfriend in college and my older brother had punched me in the stomach once because I was spilling a terrible secret. The sound of a beating is curious and I stopped to listen and to look at what was causing that horrible sound.

Then I saw, really saw, what was happening. I looked around, wondering why people were letting this happen. Then before I knew what I was doing, a big and angry shout came out of me, "Hoy! You! Stop that right now! That is WRONG!"

People paused and looked. He stopped and looked at me in shock. The boy continued to wail. Then my sister grabbed my arm and said, "Shhh, don't get us into trouble." She dragged me away... And I let her.

I don't even know if that boy is still alive. And if people even care.


  1. OMG. i can't believe nobody really tried to stop that man from beating the child. perhaps, if it's a couple quarreling, ok lang cause at least, the woman can fight back. but if it's child, sobrang nakakaawa.

    but then, nobody also knows what the man can do to you, an innocent and trying-to-help passerby. maybe somebody big and burly could have made him stop.

  2. Oh my gosh. What a terrible thing to see. I've never seen anything of that scale but it's true, it's hard to know what to do when you see a parent treating a kid roughly. In NYC, you always wonder if saying the wrong word to someone is going to get you killed on the spot and/or the kid killed later :-(

    Good on you for speaking up.

  3. You know what, I was just thinking about that sort of stuff this morning while I was in the shower. The recent bank massacre inside the UP Campus kinda shook me. I know they're different but it got me into thinking about heroism and why it gets you shot. You're right, when we try to do the right thing, we get persecuted or worse killed. I think if there's one best example for getting killed for doing good -- it's Jesus. *sigh* Where's the love?... All these fury, rage, violence, and greed...

  4. At least kudos to you that you did something about it, even just a little bit. There's a study on that, the bystander effect, how people can just pass by even when someone still needs their help. I don't think it's something wrong with people exactly, it's more of our sense of preservation kicking in before our sympathies.

    I remember once when someone was being robbed in front of the church and all people did was stare while the robber got away; and while I was staring, my dad was all, "Let's not look straight, he might come at us." And all I could think of was "Thank god it's not me being robbed."

    I'm still a little guilty about it actually.

  5. Oh, what a truly terrible thing to witness.
    I really hope that the little boy is ok :(

  6. I would have done the same thing. The man could have gone to jail with the help of authorities. We have "Bantay Bata" here.

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  7. Of course you did the right thing to speak up, especially since an innocent child was involved.
    I once saw a similar situation on the subway here - I spoke up and also activated the people around me. This atleast got the guy to stop beating the poor kid.
    If we all turn a blind eye then our world will become a very heartless and callous place to live in.
    I'm not sure how it's done in your country, but here we're very quick to call the police.

    take care



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