I was on my way to an appointment last Monday and was waiting for my bus ride when I saw a rock the size of a watermelon fall off from a construction truck loaded with dirt. It sat in the middle of the wet express road while people in the shed stared at it like it was a snake waiting to strike – that road obstruction was an accident waiting to happen.
Then I witness something I wasn’t expecting. A car, with hazard lights on, stopped a few yards away from the rock. The driver then got out and picked the rock with both of his hands before placing it inside his trunk!
The spectacled guy was in office attire and was driving a subaru.
Talk about an unselfish act. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. That guy defined, in the clearest form, what sense of ownership means.
Something you don’t see everyday.
That incident reminded me of another example of this sense of community.
While I was in Germany last year, I saw a couple dump their food left overs on a sidewalk not far from where I was staying. That shocked me because up until that time I’ve never seen a German loiter.
Then just before my service to work arrived, I saw a lady shoo the birds that had gathered around the plastic bag. She then picked the rubbish, crossed the street where there was a garbage bin and deposited it there.
Coming from a country where people just throw every known piece of garbage everywhere, these scenes makes me wonder if we will ever have the sense of ownership these people in first world countries seem to possess.
Happy new year.
Singapore January 2013