Man’s Inhumanity to Man

Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame;

More pointed still, we make ourselves

Regret, remorse and shame;

And man, whose heaven-erected face

The smiles of love adorn,

Man's inhumanity to man,

Makes countless thousands mourn.

Robert Burns

I had read this poem many years ago, but I was reminded of it again during an incident in Costa Rica.  In an earlier post, I had mentioned that the driving was pretty crazy in San Jose.  It is also common to see people walking up and down some of the busy streets peddling various merchandise such as cell phone holders, flowers, fruit and even bagged water. In addition, there are some folks that just walk the streets begging for money.  As we were coming back from souvenir shopping, we saw a beggar man get clipped by a fast moving car and fall to the ground.  Some of us were kind of stunned that nobody was stopping to help this man who obviously was hurt.  We found out from the missionary why this happens.  If you stop to offer assistance to a pedistrian that gets hit by a car, you may very well be accused of the crime and thrown in jail and have the victim's family try to get money out of it.  Apparently it has happend before, so the reasoning is if you want to be in the middle of the street selling things or begging, you're taking chances, so if you get hit by a car, that's your problem.  I think the whole scenario is pretty sad.  We also noticed on various spots on the highway, big yellow hearts that were painted on the road.  We found out that these were places where pedestrians were killed, and this was a memorial to them.  We saw lots of these hearts too.  I couldn't help but wonder if this was someone's idea to assuage the guilt they felt over hitting and killing a pedestrian.(whether it was their fault or not) Anyhow, this was the only part of our trip that was troublesome to me.  I know there are acts of senseless inhumanity that happen here in our country as well.  Really it is everywhere, and it has nothing to do with what country we are from.  It is a condition of the heart, and it's one of those things that reminds me that as a Christian, this world is really not my home.  I look forward one day to seeing face to face, the Prince of Peace.


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