By: Austin Takahashi
If you’ve ever ridden a jeepney before in your life, I believe you’d recognize the spot behind the passenger’s seat of a jeepney. It’s where a person with a large baggage would usually sit so other passengers wouldn’t have a hard time getting off of the vehicle.
You see, about a week ago, I was sitting on that spot on my way home. Halfway through my illustrious journey of non-stop honks and yawn-a-minute moments, I saw something rather incredible. I glanced to my right and I noticed the two passengers sitting beside the driver.
There was a woman, probably in her mid-20’s, who was wearing a pink shirt. She was average-looking: dark-skinned, not to tall, you know, the usual. Next to her was this dude who was a bit younger. He was wearing fashionable clothes and was good-looking. For about 20 minutes, the guy wouldn’t stop sneezing.
I noticed that the woman was looking for something in her bag. She got a small pack of tissue and offered some to the guy to help him with his cold. The guy whispered “No, thank you” without even looking at her. The lady puts the pack of tissues back in her bag and minds her own business.
I know that story isn’t even close to the story of “The Good Samaritan”, but from that incident, I was able to discover some things about myself. You see, I like to look at strangers and “analyze” them when I’m by myself in public. Mostly, I do this to make myself feel better by simply choosing to see what’s negative about them.
By seeing someone else’s faults I forget about mine. When I see someone smoking, I feel holy because I don’t smoke. When I see a classmate’s test score that’s lower than mine, I am relieved knowing I am not the worst. When I turn on the news and hear of a person murdering his family, I feel that I am a good person because I don’t commit murder.
And then I realize that when I just focus on all the bad stuff in this world, I lose faith in transformation, and I get that, “What’s the point?” feeling. Seeing that woman do that selfless act of kindness made me see that my problem isn’t with people, it’s with my own point of view and how I choose to use them.
I have been looking at people through my sinful, imperfect eyes that are full of pride and judgment, when I know that I should be looking at people through the eyes of God: full of grace and love. My eyes have caused me to deceive myself and develop a hate for people by simply taking a look at them – how they act, talk, think, feel and otherwise.
However, the eyes of God see flaws with love and compassion. And those who choose to live through His Word, through His perspective of people. Through His eyes we’ll see people that are blinded by sin and are in need of a Savior who can take it away. Pride is a dangerous thing. A proud person is so busy at looking at those below him, he fails to see who’s above him. So if you’ve never ridden a good, old-fashioned, Filipino jeepney, try it – it may do you some good.