20 Aug 2008


it's easy to read and think about injustice, oppression, poverty, gender inequality...and then to start imagining that compassion is forming and i am becoming a better person.
so here comes the test.

venue: swimming pool
i gingerly dipped myself into the 1.2 metre pool, intending to just do a few breaths before i run out of breath...naturally i looked around the pool.
one end, a few rowdy kids. the other end, five women.two filipino and the other three were being assisted by them. one of the women clambered up the side and sat there. she noticed the scabs on her leg and started picking on them and rinsing them out into the pool.
okay! that was major uncomfortable for me. i did not come to swim in such waters. i felt my frustration rising. i had come already. it'd be foolish to just leave. But she was clearly intellectually challenged; so i cannot quite talk to her...finally, i walked over and surprised myself that i managed to calmly say to one of the filipino ladies, "please tell her to wash her wounds in the toilet, not here", and i turned and went back to my spot. i was still rather rattled and felt badly.

What would you have done if anything? would it have mattered to you? perhaps i am rather fastidious huh?

i believe that a more compassionate way was to go up and befriend these ladies. then i can speak out of a place of connection. but i let my irked self rule me and i may have lost an opportunity to bring some cheer to myself! after all, the two filipino helpers did not seem too enthusiastic about what they were doing.

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