We are now living in a fast paced society, especially in Sydney, people seem to do not have patience or even want to slow down. Walking on the street, taking bus and train, people plug their earphone in and live in their own world.
In my experience when a stranger approaches and seeks help, more and more people refuse and walk away. People didn't take enough time to listen and to think whether that person is really in need of some kind of help?
In my view, those people are living in their own world, and it is easier for them to trust the Internet (social media) than real people.
Man at train station
When I first came to Australia in late 2008, a friend took me into the city of Sydney. On our way back, I was purchasing train ticket at Central station, while my friend was distracted. After I bought the ticket and tried to put the changes into my pocket, a man approached me and asked for help. He said he needed 2 dollars to buy ticket to go somewhere. He was in his early 30s with a desperately face.
To be honest, this was the first time a stranger had asked money from me, even when growing up in China or at university in Malaysia. There were times I had given some loose change to people begging on the street.
This encounter however shocked me and I didn't know what to do - give him the 2 dollars, or refused and walk away? I wished my friend h ad been right there with me to advise me.
Anyway, I did give 2 dollars to that man. When my friend came up to me, he saw what I had done and we watched as this stranger disappeared in the crowd.
I told my friend what happened, he laughed and said there was a high chance that the man won't use the money from me to purchase train ticket, but wine. After hearing this I was quite upset. If my friend was right, then why was it that within me was this sense of trust in others, and so very easily?
At a park in Chongqing, China
2011 in Chongqing China, Heyley and I were married before our families and friends. On one occasion I went to the government department to get some documents for my wife's permanent residence visa application. It was a fruitful trip as I was able to get all the documents required. In the late afternoon, on my way to the bus station home, it meant a walk through a park.
Since it was almost rush hours, the bus would take a longer time to get home; I thought it a good idea to use the public toilet before alighting the bus. As I carried a hard cardboard envelope filled with these documents, I asked the staff in charge of the public toilet if I could leave it to him to look after for me, just in case I drop it in the toilet.
To my surprise, he refused and said: "Last time I helped a lady by looking after her backpack, later she claimed she lost a pair of expensive sunglasses in the backpack. It put me in a very bad situation. So now I not risk such a thing again." I was very careful careful with the envelope.
I have since found it to be quite a wonderful moment when someone trusts me. On the other hand, there is a risk involved with such trust. I have learnt many lessons about trust. Now, if someone was to ask my help with train ticket, I would take that person to the counter or the self purchase machine and buy the ticket for her/him.
It seems to be that should someone be in such need of a train ticket they would be grateful. If I was in a position to be of trust I would hope I would be of help although I have had experienced a lack of trust.
It seems to me that are many more trusting people around us than any of us might first imagine. There is a sense I think that doing our best to trust others in the small thing of life allows a step towards further trust.
As a follower of Jesus, I see this as how (we) Christians place trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html