Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—when you already have it with you. Proverbs 3:27-2
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when the word “PMD” (personal mobility device) is mentioned? Chances are, it won’t be a good thing. PMD users have been getting a lot of bad press lately, and it’s not difficult to see why: many have been less than considerate in their use of the shared pathways, and some have even knocked down pedestrians.
So it was refreshing indeed to read a recent news report on a PMD user who was hailed as a hero after saving a lorry driver from his overturned vehicle. Mr Muhammad Riau Alfian, a food delivery rider, didn’t hesitate to throw his PMD aside when he saw the 72-year-old driver trapped in his lorry. Afraid that the vehicle could catch fire, he rushed to break the window and pull the driver out, injuring his own hand in the process.
You could see this story as an inspiring one, reminding us that we should be always ready to help others in need, just as Mr Alfian was—even if it meant risking his own safety as well as his work. The delivery rider could have just ridden past the scene of the accident, as stopping to help would have affected his own delivery schedule. But he didn’t.
It’s an inspiration for us to do as Proverbs 3:27-28 tells us: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’—when you already have it with you.”
But you could also see the story as a convicting one—reminding us not to pre-judge people. Commenting on Mr Alfian’s heroic act, one observer pointed out: “Not all PMD riders are bad. There are many good ones too.”
In the parable of the good Samaritan told by Jesus (Luke 10:25-37), it is the most unlikely person who does the most to help the victim of a robbery. A priest and a temple assistant choose to walk by, but a Samaritan—who was typically looked down on by the listeners of this parable when it was first told—goes out of his way to help the injured person. As Jesus concluded, this Samaritan was the true neighbour.
Who do you think would be the least likely person to be a “Good Samaritan”? Perhaps you might be surprised. And, will you be a good Samaritan to someone in need of help today? —C. H. Tan
Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve pre-judged others.
And help me to be a good Samaritan myself,
never hesitating to help those in need.
The true neighbour is the one who puts others before himself.