Friday, October 4, 2013

Keep Calm & Give Me Your Money

Have you seen those movie scenes when someone threw money at another guy? Well, it happened to me in Singapore, in a public fast food restaurant during late lunch hour.

Main Lead – Chinese Father & Chinese Daughter
Best Supporting – Me

I was having a quiet late lunch alone and seated beside me was a Chinese Father (CF). Nobody took notice of anything except for the group of students seated opposite me who were chattering about school and life.

Next moment, the Chinese Daughter (CD) came in and walked to CF’s table with an ATM card and a stack of $50 dollar notes. She mentioned something like, “I’ve got the money.”, and left the money on the the table. CF spoke something too heavily accented to understand, and the next thing that happened was something I would never imagine in my entire life.

I felt something hit me on my left and there was this few pieces of $50 dollar notes on my lap. I looked down and more money were scattered on the floor where I sit. Finally after all these years of sowing and preaching about how God can bless us in ways we cannot imagine, I was momentarily stunned for words. Is this a moment of divine encounter? Far from it, I knew after the initial shock, it was CF who threw the money at my direction. Nope, he did not throw it at me, he just threw it in my direction. That made a hell of a difference, if it was the former, I would feel slightly humiliated but will walk away with $1000 richer. But the fact was CF had an argument with CD and did the most outrageous thing, to throw the money away.

Till now I still do not know the real reason for the drama, but from this short episode, so much went through my mind and from the reaction of the others around me, I can gather a few interesting points. Just for the record, when the incident happened, I stood up, allowed the money to slide off my lap and walked to another empty seat and continue to eat my lunch. I left the restaurant with a full stomach and $8 poorer.

A few things happened immediately when CF threw the money.

1. CD was stunned (obviously) but I can see from her facial expression, it might not be the first time she witnessed something like this from CF. She just asked in a resigned manner why did her father did it.

2. The group of students stopped talking for a moment but as quickly as the incident happened, they were back to their own world of conversation as if nothing has happened.

3. An Auntie sitting behind me realised that there was money on the floor and politely tapped me on the shoulder to inform me that I have dropped my cash. She did not see the incident.

How do I feel?

1. CF obviously has an anger management but worst than that, he is a 100% horrible & terrible father. What type of father would humiliate his daughter in such a manner, especially so in public? Actually at that moment, I was really contemplating whether to go over and give a piece of my mind to him. But then, I thought it would be another blow for CD who is only in her teens. All I can offer was a slight nod of sympathy to CD. This clearly explains the increasing trend of delinquency and youth crime, and one of the reasons is due to this ‘absentee father’ effect. I looked back on my interaction with my daughters and realised more than often I am only lecturing them on what is right or wrong, which is good and essential, but more that all these, I think my girls would love to just have me hugging them and telling them, I love them.

2. The group of students is just a portray of the current mindset of youths in Singapore. Not interested, ‘bo-chap’ attitude. Maybe they were busy, maybe they were tired, maybe maybe… I would thought maybe seeing someone around their age going through something like this, some of the students would at least offer some ways of help. Maybe I am too old-fashioned, maybe I was too idealistic. I pray that my daughters will not be like this.

A short episode of event, a truck-load of thoughts.

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