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Helping Strangers

How shy are you to help strangers?

Today while I was cycling to the college to take photos of the sunset, I came across this couple whose car tire had blown. The damage was pretty bad, I could see the tear on the tire, the rim was dented, and the wheel cover was missing. I had actually seen the wheel cover somewhere along the way, but I had kept quiet and continued snapping photos.

That was until the guy asked me for help. He had removed the spare tire, but he couldn’t get the car jack out of its mounting, and he was wondering if I could give him a hand. It was only then that I told him that I saw the wheel cover at the side of the road earlier near a construction site. The car probably hit one of the construction blocks somewhere along the way.

As I know nuts about automotive, I could only apologize and tell him that I couldn’t really help him. I continued snapping photos, as the girlfriend walked to the nearby Sunset Grill restaurant, presumably to ask for help.

I wished him all the best, and I went on to the college. I took more photos, and on my way back, I saw the girlfriend walking all the way to the other end of the road, where the car hit the block, to retrieve the wheel cover.

As I cycled back, I felt guilty and disappointed in myself as I felt that I could somehow at least offer them some form of a help. For those not in the know, Seletar can be quite inaccessible, and walking in or out is very inconvenient. As I was riding a bicycle, it wouldn’t be too hard for me to go and retrieve the wheel cover for them, or to go to Sunset Grill to, maybe, borrow a car jack from the owner of the restaurant.

At the very least, even if I couldn’t help them, the gesture would have been nice. Even a simple “Do you need any help?” would do. It was too easy for me to reason out that I shouldn’t be too kaypoh (busybody) about another person’s business, and that even if I offered my help, he might just reject it. But thinking about it again, I realised that sometimes I’m just too shy to be bold and offer some form of help.

The next time I encounter myself in a similar situation, I’ll try to offer some help. Maybe by being nice to strangers, people will be nice to me too.😛

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