• The Write Connection

An Act of Compassion


Licking my newly bought ice cream, I trudged back home from school, holding my change in the other hand. The sun was scorching hot, beating down on my body furiously. A cacophony of city sounds — people passing by, cars honking, the temple bells ringing — it was all very busy. Some stalls were brightly lit with their lanterns, lamps and hanging bulbs despite the time of day, attracting lots of mosquitoes and other flying insects. There were countless pigeons perched on the sidewalk and I could hear the ceaseless, cawing of the crows. The city was bustling with life.

Ahead of me was a beggar, imploring for money. His clothes were a little tattered and a pungent smell emitted from him. Others shunned him like the plague. Looking down at the extra cash in my hand, I decided to do a kind act and donate it to the beggar. After I dropped two ten dollar notes into his hand, he began thanking me profusely. I continued walking, now with a spring in every step.

Later that day, I walked past a branded footwear outlet. Slowing down my pace, I peered into the shop. “Wow! The shoes look so nice! I wish I could buy them!" I muttered to myself. Unexpectedly, I spotted a familiar face from the corner of my eye. It was the beggar! He was now decked out in a pristine and well-pressed shirt. Gone were the raggedy, dirty, and brown shirt he had been wearing, and the shabby-looking jeans which had holes in them.

Despite his new attire, I was positive it was him. Inside the store, he fished a black wallet from his pocket to pay for a pair of shoes at the counter. My eyes widened in disbelief. “Could he be a con artist?" I questioned myself.

Mustering my confidence, I walked up to the man to confront him. Upon seeing me, his eyes widened incredulously and he tried to make a hasty exit to avoid me. However, I blocked his path and hollered at him, "You sly fox! Why did you take advantage of my compassion?" 

"Give me back my money!” I demanded. Unfortunately, the man did not comply and even retaliated nonchalantly, “Why should I? It’s your fault for being so gullible!"

The man simply strode away as if nothing had happened. Not wanting to make a scene, I shook my head. I continued on the path back home, feeling defeated.

That day, I was cheated out of my money. My act of compassion turned out to be for the wrong person. I vowed to be more careful about donating my hard-earned money in the future. This is to prevent myself from being fooled again by such deceptive rats who thought nothing of putting on a false front.