勿以善小而不为 / Don’t Disregard Small Good Deeds(English translation below)

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星期二早上出门的时候,倾盆大雨已变成绵绵细雨。

正当我站在屋檐下准备撑开伞时,身边一名男子匆匆从我身边掠过,看他的身影是一名马来族老伯,带着一顶马来族惯用的宋谷帽,低着头在细雨里疾步而行。

我打开了伞,也迈开脚步向前赶去,来到他的身后,轻轻拍了他的肩膀对他说:“老伯,需要伞吗?”

他错愕地望着我,然后脸上绽开一丝晨曦般的笑容,说:“不必了……”

虽然他拒绝了我的好意,我仍然与他并肩而行,帮他遮雨。

雨点极小,喧嚣却渐渐扩大,把雨滴落在伞上的声音也掩盖住了。

我们过了马路之后,刚好他的巴士来了,于是他向我说了声“谢谢”就上车了。

我望着他的背影消失在车厢里,心底里充满了满满的感动。

快乐,不就是一个小小的帮助那么简单么?

……

上了自己要搭的车之后,我就拿出从图书馆借来的书开始翻阅,一直到公司附近的车站才下车。

那时,雨丝依然轻柔地飘扬着,仿佛是天空坠落的棉絮,感觉很舒服。而布满愁云的天空,似有一丝丝的金黄色的光线想要突破云层照耀大地。

我环顾四周,期盼能够看见苍白的天空会有一道彩虹为我绽放色彩,然而我却失望了。

虽然那是一场不会把人打湿的细雨霏霏,我还是打开了伞,不疾不徐地向公司走去。

途中,我看见了又一名女子冒着绵绵细雨在行走,本想赶上去与她共享一把伞,却感觉有点唐突便打消了念头,心想反正她不会因为这点点的雨滴而被打湿了身子。

然而,这一件小事在事后却让我想起那一句“勿以善小而不为”,挑起了一些难以言说的惭愧。

……

下班后,我坐在公司员工专用的大巴车厢里望着窗外的景色从身边掠过。

那个时候,清晨的那一场雨早已被午后炽热的光线蒸得烟消云散了,一切显得焕然一新。

我偶尔会喜欢这样无聊地望着窗外的风景,哪怕只是丛丛的钢筋水泥森林。但见夕阳即将下山,云朵再度披上了艳丽的衣裳,似在准备迎接夜的降临。

经过一日的忙碌,当我把心逐渐放松,思绪开始在天空无尽地飞扬。又想起了早晨的那件小事。

究竟是什么让我鼓起了勇气与老伯并肩而行,又是什么让我找到了理由不伸出援手去帮助那个小姑娘?

其实我害怕的是女子怀疑的心态甚至是鄙视的目光。我害怕被拒绝,也害怕女子突然口出无理之言,更害怕女子与路人当做我是一个想要搭讪女子的不怀好意的男子。

就因为这种种的顾虑,我找到了“反正女子也不会被这场小雨打湿”的借口,为自己虚伪与虚荣的心找到了最好的谅解。

……

很多时候,我们在乎的其实是别人的目光与想法。不论是在家里,办公室里,还是熙来攘往的街上,我们总是害怕别人诧异的目光,把我们看得很傻、很笨、很蠢、甚或是不怀好意。

但若是仔细想想,即便真的让女子怀疑我想和她搭讪又如何呢?这些路人不过是与我们擦肩而过的过客,我们再次碰面的几率很小很小,而我们心里以为“是的”也不一定“就是”。一切不过是我们自己造就的烦恼。

只是,当社会越来越进步,科技越来越发展,多媒体的社会让这个世界处处布满危机,随时随地都会被人拍下自己的行为。届时便百口莫辩,还有可能被弄得无地自容。

可不是吗?当这个社会越来越发展,我们的人心却越来越退后,有时想起,总觉得这是社会的错。但事实上是自己还没真正的领悟慈悲的真谛。

每一次我搭公车的时候,若是那是双层巴士,我会选择到上面那层去找座位,而若是单层巴士,我会选择到车尾后的那几排寻找座位。

若是真到了上层或是车尾后都没有座位了,我宁愿站着也不会坐在前面的那几排明明空着的座位。

之所以有这样的心态是因为我知道那些年老,弱小,或是身怀六甲的搭客绝不会爬上第二层,或是来到车尾后。

不是不愿意让座给更需要座位的人,而是习惯了在座位上看书,或是眺望窗外,或是闭目养神而往往忽略了车厢里的一切动态。

可能的结果就是当有更需要座位的人上车了我却没有注意,不止霸占了座位,还有可能引来他人卑夷的目光。

只是,我数次经历过一些不知该让位还是不让位的窘迫状态,让我不知所措,于是选择了逃避。

有时候望着一名妇女大腹便便,不知道她是身怀六甲还是肥胖。让了吧?又怕得罪妇女或是被拒绝,结果不知该不该继续坐下。

有时看到一些满头银霜的人,脸上身体看来又像比我健壮。让了吧?会不会遭到他心里想:你是认为我老了呗?

有时看见大约十来岁的小孩子蹦蹦跳跳,比我还生龙活虎。让了吧,可他又偏偏坐不长久,结果座位让给了别人。

在这种种情况下可真的是不知该让座还是不让。

我曾数次站起身来让座,结果遭到婉拒,虽然没有遭到白眼,然而那种站了起来与他人推挤想要让座,结果又想坐下,便感觉有些异样的目光对我投射。

此刻想起,一切都是自己的虚荣心所造成的,因为我不想让人看见自己窘迫的样子。

这样的想法本身就是一种错误。我不应该害怕窘迫或是因为别人的卑夷而感到惭愧,而是应该发自内心的羞愧才是真正的慈悲。

因为慈悲不是要做给人看的。

就那天不敢向那位女生伸出援手的事件而说,人生的课堂,我还没完全领悟,仍然在为俗世的眼光而避开一些该做的事。

我明明只要迈开脚步向她走近,明明只需要一声:“需要伞吗”或是“一起走吧”便可以帮助一个冒雨的小姑娘。

这件事看起来真的很小,但我们就是因为许多许多的小事而忽视了我们应该做的事,结果这个世界就变成了我们眼里所看到的冷漠与无情……

不以善小而不为,哪怕只是在当时当刻带给他人一丝会心的微笑,一次温暖的片刻,也是一种善举。不需要他人的回报,不苛求别人也如此对待我们,只要知道自己还能够给予他人援助,也是一种小小的幸福。

完稿于21.10.2016

文/林顺源
Don’t Disregard Small Good Deeds

It was drizzling on Tuesday morning when I left home for office.

As I stood below the building and about to open my umbrella, an old Malay man walked past briskly into the rain with his head looking down.

I opened my umbrella and strode towards him and patted on his shoulder and asked: “Hi, it’s raining. Do you need an umbrella?”

He gave me an astonished look before he smiled and said: “No, it’s ok. I’m fine.”

Even though he has rejected me, I continued to shelter him from the drizzles.

After we have crossed the road, his bus came and he thanked me before boarding his bus.

My heart was touched as I watched him his back disappearing in the bus.

Isn’t that what life is? Just just a simple act of generosity can bring happiness to us.

……

Soon, I boarded my own bus and started reading my book till I reached my destination.

It was still drizzling as I could see droplets of water dancing in the air. I could also see rays of sunshine trying to pierce through the cloudy sky.

I looked around, hoping that I would see a rainbow but was disappointed.

Even though it was just drizzling and one would not get too wet, I decided to use my umbrella.

Along the way, I saw yet another young woman walking briskly under the drizzle, and I had the urge to share my umbrella with her. But I held myself back for I worry that I would be mistaken to be trying to get close to her.

This matter was very trivial, but it left me with some thoughts to be pondered that day.

……

It was a long day and as I sat in the company transport on my way home after work, I watched the streets whizzed past before my eyes.

The morning rain has cleared all the filth in the air while the afternoon sun seemed to have brought a fresh look to this beautiful city.

At times, I just love to gaze into the external world even though it’s just a concrete jungle. I could see the evening sun descending slowly as the bus moved along the road and the fiery clouds filled the blue sky.

I let my thoughts wander and began to recollect my morning experience with the old man and the young woman.

I was wondering what has given me the strength to approach the old man and yet what has stopped me from sheltering the woman from the drizzle.

Honestly, I knew that I have held myself back for the very simple reason of fear — the fear of misunderstanding from the young woman. I was worried that she might think I wanted to get close to her. And therefore, I have found myself the best excuse, which is the drizzle was not going to make her too wet.

……

This is apparently one of the problems we face in this society, where we find ourselves too concerned on how others think or look upon us, regardless at home, in the office or along the street. We are afraid of the “surprised“ look on their faces, always thinking that we are silly, foolish or even having a motive in what we do.

But as I recollect my memory for that day, I found myself so silly to worry too much.

So what if the young woman really thought that I wanted to get close to her? So what if the other people on the road thought the same way too? These are all passers by in my life, and the chance of us meeting again is so small. More importantly is, whatever I thought may not be what I thought it was.

It’s all our own worries created out of nothing.

On the other hand, it is reality that has made us to behave like this, as we see more and more selfish thoughts and actions in this first world society.

Technological advancement, especially in multi-media, has caused this world to be a place where “mine-fields” can be found everywhere. Whatever that we do or say can be so easily captured by all the phone cameras, and sometimes resulting in misunderstanding of our situations.

I seem to have put the blame of my own selfish thoughts on the society, when in actual fact, I have not understood the true meaning of compassion.

Whenever I take public transport (public buses), I will find a seat in the upper deck (if it’s a double deck bus) or at the rear of the bus.

If there is no seat available, I would rather stand than sitting down in the lower deck or in the front rows.

My behaviour is a result of experiences that I have gone through. I know that the elderly, the needy and the pregnant women will seldom climb to the upper deck or move to the rear, as they have difficulties to do so.

But I do so not because I am selfish, but more often than not, I have the habit of reading while sitting, or gazing out of the windows, or even dozing off and this can result in me not knowing that someone who needs the seat more than I do has boarded the bus.

And if that happens, I may draw the attention of the other commuters and get myself into a situation where everyone think that I”m selfish guy with no compassion.

Unfortunately I have been through experiences which put me into embarrassed situations and I have since chosen the path of avoidance. I have squeezed through crowded buses to give up my seats for someone who needed it more and was rejected.

At that point in time, I could feel all eyes were on me, for I have caused a bit of inconvenience to the others. I didn’t know should I take back my own seat or just stay put.

And as I think of it now, it is my own vanity and hypocritical personality that led me to such behaviours, as I was too concerned on how others look at me.

in fact, such thoughts in itself is inappropriate for I should not feel guilty just because I have not extended my help to others due to my own vanity or dignity. I should always help with true compassion, disregarding how others look upon me.

Compassion is not something that we practise for others to see.

My experience that day has truly proven that I have not really understood the meaning of compassion, as I was still concerned about the opinions of the other people, even if they are strangers.

I could have just walked towards the woman and sheltered her from the drizzle.

This was honestly a trivial matter but it led me to think deeper into how human beings behave in this society. We have always thought that some things are so trivial such that we simply neglect the importance of helping others. And this caused us to see the world as a cold and unhelpful world.

Do not disregard small good deeds, even if our little actions can only bring upon a smile onto the face of the receivers, or a little warmth in their hearts.

We shall not ask for anything in return and shall not expect others will treat us likewise.

As long as we are still able to help others, it is our own blessings.

21.10.2016

Francis Lim

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