Tuesday 5 July 2016

Are there times when you should NOT be a Good Samaritan? Or your brother's keeper? Is it ever justified to not offer help?

Sometime last year on my way back from the salon, I got one of the hairdressers to flag down a random Cab for me. Cabbie asked for N1000 fare which was rather expensive. I was in a massive hurry with a headache so I didn't bother to bargain. Few minutes into the car ride, car starts showing signs of having some problems. And no, I didn't ask if it was the battery (Lol)

Cabbie came down and fiddled with the engines and stuff. After a few minutes he comes back in and we continue on our journey. He starts telling me about how he spent so much money at the mechanic's and how he got the car on higher purchase. It was a rather banged up car and I was amazed at how much he was paying for it. I felt sorry for him really.

When we got to my house, I decided to give him N2,000 instead of the previously agreed N1000 as it was pretty obvious he needed some help. He was so excited and yanked me a lot. I told him it was fine and he asked for my phone number. I gave it to him and got his. I wasn't bothered about him having my phone number as I decided I was going to call him if I needed a cabbie. I decided as I walked into my house that I would call him later in the week ( was a Saturday) and give him N5,000 to assist him.

Barely an hour later, my phone rang. It was the cabbie. And he goes "Sister, the problem with my car started again after I dropped you". I'm thinking err, okay - since I couldn't really understand why he was telling me that. And then he asked me for more money so he can repair the car. I was stunned for a few seconds.

I asked him if he was joking. I reminded him that I didn't know him, paid him double his rather expensive fair barely an hour ago And he's calling me to ask for more money? I couldn't even believe it. I told him look Mr I have no money to give you, and Oga cabbie asked me " how he would manage"! I told him to manage the way he had been doing. At this point I realised this greedy and unappreciative man probably thought I had a money tree somewhere.

I was amazed. I had plans of offering this stranger financial assistance later in the week, but his impatience totally put me off. Some people don't realise that everyone has their own problems, heck I have mine, i just choose not to bore everyone else with mine. I think that cabbie figured all he had to do was get as much money as he could from me. That 45 minute wait after he dropped me off and called me must have seemed like eternity.

After that incident, I realised I needed to avoid listening to sob stories. I remember in secondary school, my friend Belema would always chide me as I would give out my daily pocket money to someone who didn't have any and I would have no money for the tuck shop or that special after school ice cream LOL! I didn't have anymore than anyone else, I just thought someone else needed it more than I did.

I must admit, I still listen to the stories. Sometimes I still offer help. Sometimes I don't. I've learned to apply wisdom to rendering help and assistance. Sometimes I don't. But I've understood that it's okay to sometimes refrain from offering.

Ecclesiastes 3 sums it up - to everything there is a season.

It's awesome to be a Good Samaritan. It's also pretty good to look the other way. Sometimes 😀


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