During my childhood years in Terengganu, we siblings always tried not to make Umi cook on Wednesdays because we then got to go to pasar malam and buy our own food, especially coconut shakes. And everytime I went to pasar there would always be people minta sedekah in between the stalls.
I remember telling Ayah that I wanted to spare RM5 in small change everytime I go to pasar malam just for these people. I just didn't have the heart to walk pass through them and pretend not seeing anything. Back then I was about 10 years old.
But that was then.
Now whenever people approach me for some derma or sedekah, I always do the script "Takpelah" while angkat tangan, another way of shoo-ing them. I become somewhat sceptical of these people. There's this one makan place that I love down the road near PV8, but everytime we went there to eat, there would always be people asking for derma. Kids, makciks, blind pakciks etc. The end result, I would do the shoo-ing gesture without even listening to their explanations whatnot. How can I not be sceptical when all I heard was the same script "Kami dari sekolah agama... Mintak derma... Kebajikan..." over and over again? Or the same blind pakcik selling tissue with a lady beside him?
Now that I think of it.. How I've changed from someone with such a big heart (at least I thought so) to someone full of syak wasangka (woha, the word!) Back then RM5 was a huge amount for a small kid in such a kampung place, yet I wouldn't mind spending for the needy. But now? Even seringgit pun payah.
We can blame on how the society is shaped to begin with, like how today there are so many scams trying to drain our money in every way possible, unlike those days when the poor ones are really poor. But we can also choose to be positive and keep our virtues.
Who am I to question the validity of the surat derma minta sedekah to build a madrasah whatnot? Or to do a health check up if the pakcik is really blind? Jangan cakap pasal check validity surat lah, nak tengok baca pun tak.
Even kalau dorang tipu pun, it's not my problem. It's the niat that matters. InshaAllah He knows better.
What a shame.