“I don’t want to understand! My food leh!”
“If he’s deaf, then don’t work! Go home and sleep! Wait for the government to feed him! Go and be a beggar!”
That’s what a raging aunty in red screamed in a video that has now gone viral. It was a video taken at JEM during lunch time by Facebook user Ephemia Lee. Apparently a cleaner misunderstood a customer’s “grunts” when he asked her if he could clear her tray. As a result, he cleared the tray even even though the lady wasn’t actually done eating. The raging lady in red then went rabid. Like completely bat shit crazy.
When I first saw the video, I was enraged. I instinctively wanted to blog about it. It would have been a post full of expletives and curses, wishing terrible things upon the raging lady in red. Would have been very bad for my karma. Fortunately, I have been practising loving-kindness meditation for a few months already. So instead of blogging while enraged, I went to meditate instead.
Now that I am less angry, I think I can finally blog without cursing the raging lady in red.
I wonder why the raging lady in red was so angry. Maybe she had a REALLY bad day? Or perhaps she has some personality disorder? Is she really a terrible person? Did her parents not inculcate in her an iota of compassion and kindness? Maybe she was dropped on the head when she was a baby. Or perhaps she was abused as a kid.
Is she always so angry and mean? If she is, I pity her husband. And if she has kids, I pity her kids. She’s setting a terrible example for them. Let’s hope she doesn’t scream at her kids this way too. Otherwise that may be considered child abuse.
Regardless, I think more than our anger, this raging lady in red deserves our… pity.
And what about the people around? Why didn’t they step in to do something about it? For instance, instead of just taking a video, could the person taking the video have spoken up for the cleaner? If she did, would the other people around join her to stand up and speak up for the cleaner? If more people in the foodcourt stood up and spoke up for the cleaner, asking the raging lady in red to stop her rage, would she have stopped?
It reminds me of this TV advertisement by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM):
I think we are still very far away from that ideal of the SKM video. I hope than situations like the outburst from raging aunty in red are few and far between. But if I ever encounter something similar, I hope I have the courage to stand up and speak up for the disadvantaged. And I hope that fellow Singaporeans will join me.
[Featured image: screenshot from Euphemia Lee’s Facebook page]