Life 101 - The Good Samaritan

Be a Samaritan. Give alms to the poor.

A beggar - an old woman in the Philippines asking for alms stationed at the stairs of LRT station (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travelman1971)
A beggar - an old woman in the Philippines asking for alms stationed at the stairs of LRT station (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travelman1971)

Be a do-gooder everyday.

It's very uplifting if others will praise us with our work, achievement or advocacy in public.

Many inspiring stories are now being shared online, in television, in newspapers or even the radio.

But in the eyes of God, good deeds are best keep in secrecy. Praises are just icing on the cake, but the most fulfilling feeling will be the results of the help you planted in the hearts of the receivers.

The Pass-It-On action and reaction of the goodness that were shared in a particular untoward incident will always set as an example of positivism among people.

It is better to donate monetary or in-kind assistance anonymously than revealing your name. Most of us cannot help it for want of recognition.

Just recently, our high school class sponsored an alumni homecoming in the school. One of our batch-mates insisted that he wouldn't want his name be mentioned during the acknowledgment proper. He wanted to make his huge contribution be anonymously mentioned as simply from benevolent donor.

Each one of us has good intentions in our hearts.

But can we be the Good Samaritan all the time whenever we extend a helping hand?

There are questions to be considered in order to determine if one can be a good neighbor to a stranger like the wounded Jew in the parable.

  1. Do you avoid stopping in a road accident or you will immediately dial 911 to ask for help?
  2. Do you hate seeing beggars begging alms on the streets or you continue extend help to them?

Way back April 2011, a fiesta in a nearby county prompted me and my sister to go to our friend's house. We cannot resist the invitation to dine and share the merriment.

Unluckily, an incident happened with my friend as he was hit by a motorcycle driver along the road.

Our friend was saved but the drunk motorcycle driver, whom I carried to a waiting make-shift ambulance car went into a coma and died three days later.

Me and my sister along with other friends didn't went to the public dancing hall as we were saddened by the incident.

A week later, the sister of the dead driver went to our house and asked me and my sister about the incident. I recounted the event in details and how his brother was transported to the hospital.

The grieving sister, nearly doubted our act of good deed, because her neighbor (relatives and family members) had also doubts in the minds regarding the police report.

Me and my sister were nearly blottered by the police authorities and summoned to the station for questioning.We were nearly sued by the relatives of the victim.

I have learned my lesson when extending help these days.

As Red Cross first-aider, I reacted by instinct to immediately administer help on the victim.

But the mob, the bystanders will always interpret it in a wrong way.

The Good Samaritan was filled with compassion to help the beaten and dying Jew. He also acted through instinct, without a doubt, even though he is extending help to an enemy.

My case is also similar with the story from the Bible, but the interpretation of the public will always spawn doubt as the victim was not saved by the attending doctor.


The Good Samaritan (Photo Source: http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/)
The Good Samaritan (Photo Source: http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/)

Good Samaritan laws

It vary from country to country or from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the bottomline is that a person being abandoned wounded and in need of help should be given assistance by any person or institution without obliging the victim to repay the good deeds extended to him/her.

It's an act of faith, of compassion and of goodness that every person should emanate.

Remember the Golden Rule, a good deed will always promote harmonious relationship among the neighborhood, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation.

Note: Good Samaritan laws are laws or acts offering legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. In some cases, Good Samaritan laws encourage people to offer assistance (duty to rescue)(Source: Wikipedia)

To avoid being sued whenever assisting for help or rescuing a person in distress or peril, the governments of USA and Canada have different interpretation about the Good Samaritan laws.

The Good Samaritan: Tell this story to your children.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, 'Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.' Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?"

He said, "He who showed mercy on him."

Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do."

— Luke 10:30–37, World English Bible

Note: This is the story of a do-gooder, the Good Samaritan who didn't hesitate to help the injured Jew, although during those times, Jews and Samaritans often despised each other.

This is the answer of Jesus Christ to His inquisitive follower regarding the question: "Who is thy neighbor?"


Do we have to help the victim or leave him dying?

The Good Samaritans of modern times (Photo Source: http://my.opera.com/saranayrose/)
The Good Samaritans of modern times (Photo Source: http://my.opera.com/saranayrose/)

Be a Good Samaritan; help others in need.

No matter how busy we are, we should always remember the honest-to-goodness act of kindness in the heart of the Good Samaritan.

Back in the 90s, while stationed at the hospital, travel man as a beat reporter will always be asked for assistance by the relatives of the patients being admitted. Our radio station extended an advocacy to poor patients by providing them assistance through medicines being solicited from private well-off individuals.

An upgraded version of Good Samaritan will always be observed at the premises of many medical institution where anonymous donors will provide help to the needy.

As Philippines is always an accident-prone country, whether it's natural or man-made calamities (storms, earthquakes, vehicular accidents, robberies, kidnapping, etc.), or at a magnitude scale as people of the world face such forms of negativity everyday, only a few can be considered legit Samaritans.

It's not I'm skeptic with philanthropic deeds of many famous individuals, but it's still uplifting to know that there are people who don't want to be recognized publicly.

A recent news regarding a do-gooder in the USA prompted me to make this presentation. Imagine what you'll feel if someone left you a handful of dollars on the hood of your car stating that you also do the same to people who are in need in the future. Certainly, I'll do the same anonymously.

Robbers of modern times also escalated their tactics by killing their victims. Some will be lucky to survive, just like the Jew in the story, because there are good people in the neighborhood who are ready to extend help whenever they hear similar incidents in the vicinity.

Evils may won by inflicting harm to most of us but there will be always a neighborhood full of Samaritans who will help us in the nick of time.

Do we have to doubt Good Samaritans these days?

Is there genuine Good Samaritan these days? (Photo Source: http://mrhackman.blogspot.com/)
Is there genuine Good Samaritan these days? (Photo Source: http://mrhackman.blogspot.com/)

Can we be Good Samaritans these days?

Most of us will always be reluctant to help nowadays because of the disguise being used as bait by evil doers.

There was a story about an innocent man being beaten to death by drug-laden gang of youth, when the former extended help to the supposed beaten teenager lying on the street. Never did the good man knew that it was just a bait to lure him to stop the car and go out his vehicle in order to help the young man.

Because of this and the similar incidents promoting violence on the streets in the main cities of the country, an ordinance of never giving alms to the poor or never extend help of unconscious victim lying on the street by not alerting proper authorities, like hospitals or policemen.

So, the meaning of a Good Samaritan has been twisted due to the changing values of men in this modern time.

An advisory will always be announced through the media: "It's okay to help others but always think first of your personal protection."

The Search for The Good Samaritan is on!

I copied an anonymously-authored poem from the wall of my former shipping company (dated April 8, 2008) and it's worthy of sharing.

The poem that you are about to read is about all options that we could do in order to help. The karmic act of doing good things among family members, friends and even enemies will generate goodness all the time.

The author is doubtful and hesitant when extending help to others, even with his friend.

Helping others will or can save a life.

Doubting will promote death.

JUST AS TRUE TODAY...

I chose to look the other way

I could have saved a life that day,

but I chose to look the other way.

It wasn't that I didn't care,

I had the time, and I was there.


But I didn't want to be a fool,

or argue over a safety rule.

I knew he'd done the job before,

If I called it wrong, he might get sore.

The chances didn't seem that bad,

I've done the same, he knew I had.


So, I shook my head and walked on by,

He knew the risks as well as I.

He took the chance, I closed an eye,

and with that act I let him die.

I could have saved a life that day,

But I chose to look the other way.


Now, every time I see his wife,

I knew I should have saved his life.

That guilt is something I must bear,

but it isn't something you need to share.

If you see a risk that others take,

that puts their health or life at stake;

the question asked, or thing you say,

could help them live another day.


If you see a risk and walk away,

then hope you never have to say.

I could have saved a life that day,

but I chose to look the other way.

- Author Unknown


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Comments 16 comments

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

This is such a good reminder, travel man, of our human duty to help others to the best of our ability. It is a cautionary tale as well, of the dangers of being sued over attempts to help. In the era of cell phones, at least it is easy to dial 911 and report accidents and incidents where people are injured.


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 3 years ago from Philippines

In our society, many don't want to be bothered and so fail to be a good samaritan. But there are still those who have it in their heart to always help others. Wish there would be more of those kind of people.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I think helping is wonderful and we would sure appreciate a helping hand if needed. I was thinking also of this suing crazy country. Litigation is part of the english language. Recently a friend who has been very ill with major surgeries....His surgeon actually said to my friend I am offering you options with hopes you won't sue me...There is more to the story but that is the basic ending. I probably would also dial 911 at least that is helping. Good hub with lots of interesting concepts.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals

I actually am quick to offer myself where it calls for like helping an old person carry his belongings ,when crossing the street, or giving beggars food. Not sure if I was being a good samaritan, it simply just makes me feel happy doing it, perhaps some of our little ways of helping. But in all honesty and with the experience you have , I'm not sure if its ever safe to offer help that easy. I think it pays to get a list of numbers to dial help. It's the least I could think, of.

Very good hub, Ireneo. In our kind of world, we needed these reminders, not only to encourage helping but reminding us of our real "sense" in life. Thank you. Blessings! -Tonette


earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

I want to say that I'm always ready to extend help to the needy but there are reservations in my mind due to the incidents you've stated here.

It's okay to help but I should call first 911 or here in the PH 711 for police assistance.

Thanks for sharing.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Absolutely we should reach out to those in need. And for me I like to do it so others will not know I am the one who gave the assistance.

We are on this planet to help others I do so believe.

It sounds as though you are very concerned about the welfare of others too. Every thing you do to lighten someone's else load is making a difference.

Sending Angels your way :) ps


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

It makes you feel good to help another in desperate need and by just seeing a smile on the other's face does make you want to smile too.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Travel Man, you made a good point about keeping our own safety in mind. Still, it seems that in desperate situations, our own safety seldom comes to mind. God takes care of the caretaker. Thanks for reminding us of these good neighbor deeds.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@xstatic: This is my prelude hub on the upcoming Holy Week (observed annually by Catholic Christians.

It's been three weeks since I've posted this hub. Since that day, I was able to participate on the succeeding days for giving help to other people who needed my assistance.

Yes, my observation of the modern Samaritans are those people who are ready to help but also uses gadgets in order to link alert call for HELP. (April 16, 2013)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Chin chin: There will be always Good Samaritans in this world. They are those who don't even want to be recognized publicly but still want to help wholeheartedly whenever their help are needed.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@carol7777: It's a very dangerous world indeed, that even extending help to needy people will also mean harm. Doctors and other medical people are prone with such litigation and more if they don't successfully save their patient's lives.

Thanks for this reminder, Ma'am Carol.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Tonipet: With the bad news occupying the primetime television newscasts these days, most people are now doubtful to offer help instantly. Most of us will be having second thoughts in giving such speedy action.

It's better to contact authorities if immediate help is needed to the victims.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@earthbound1974: Genuine help or assistance are a rarity these days. Killings abound in this world. Human lives are not spared from it.

Thank you for reminding that calling for HELP will be easy if we can contact the proper authorities or police assistance.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@pstraubie48: Thanks for appreciating my effort on this hub.

Yes, it's a part of me to help others in need whenever I can because I've been also given help by others (especially my family and friends) whenever I'm in need.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@DDE: With all the sins I've committed, it's still fulfilling to help others without hesitation.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@MsDora: That's what happened to me when I extended help without hesitation. God truly took care of the doubt that enveloped in the mind of the sister's victim. She also believed in what I told her regarding my account about the incident.

Thank you for jotting your reflection regarding this hub.

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