I think I've gone rather cynical over the years. This deep feeling of mistrust of human nature is not just something that I've slowly developed over time, but is further fuelled by the increasing number of crime cases heard, seen and even experienced.
As such, the way I behave and conduct myself have always been of caution. I trust no one except for God and my family. Though we've had our share of potentially dangerous situations / encounters with robbers and such ... we've been quite lucky so far, in the sense that nobody has been hurt and everyone is safe in the end. And I have only ALLAH to thank for that.
I honestly can't understand how anybody could rob from the poor. My gardener this man who comes to our house on his rickety bicycle once a month to mow our grass, was robbed yesterday about 20 meters away from my house... roughly 30 minutes after I had last seen him. It's so mind-boggling and difficult to comprehend how anybody could even think of robbing him as he was obviously poor. There was no way anyone could mistake him to be rich. Definitely not from the way he was dressed; old and tattered trousers worn with a shirt that has probably seen many a washings.
Ironically, I had actually seen the robbers and the white Kelisa they were in before that. But of course, I didn't know then that they were looking for victims. Through tricks, deceit and physical assault they managed to relieve the gardener of his machine ( a brand new grass-cutting machine which was bought on loan and have yet to be paid back). My husband and I saw him moments after the robbery and we were deeply affected by the sight that greeted us. The anguished look on his face which later gave way to cries of despair was something that neither of us could ever forget. He could not understand how fellow Muslims could ever resort to such acts on another fellow Muslim. Yes.. the robbers as I recall were indeed Muslim lads and there were 3 of them in the car. Such cowards!! Three against one... and I've only words of contempt for them.
Today, our gardener returned to our house with another grass-cutting machine which was given to him by a generous Haji who lived not very far from here. In our brief conversation, I advised him not too be too trusting of people ( even if they are Muslims ) and to be extra cautious in the future. As he cleared my garden of weeds and later mowed the lawn, I asked my 2 elder kids if they wanted to give the man some money as sedekah as their way of helping a fellow Muslim in need. They both agreed to part with some of their savings - Hannan from her Eid collection whilst Yusuf from the circumsicion angpau he received from Atok Famy last year. And when I gave him his dues for the day's work together with a packet of bahulu and my kids' sedekah .. I could see the tears of joy trickling down his weather-beaten face as he clasped his hands together in a sign of gratitude . Being the softie that I am, I quickly turned away as I too felt a tear or two trickling down my face.