Not too slow and thoughtless
To borrow from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For, indeed, at the backend of heavy ashfall and the threat of a bigger eruption that triggered thousands of people to be evacuated and several towns locked-down, there surfaced hundreds of people who were willing to volunteer and stretch an extra mile of their resources and discomfort.
It should be normal for organized institutions such as religious groups and government entities to be on their toes to fulfill their moral or legal mandate. But for private citizens who have their own families to look after, doing the extra mile in the worst of times no doubt is a dictate of character that has long been shaped in time by human, or Christian if you may, values. Social media is teeming with stories of families helping tens of families—for several days on free board and lodge. People from far away, clogged in traffic by sheer number, trucking vegetables and sundry. Loose groups or individuals volunteering to save pets and work animals in risk areas and keeping them to safety.
This is what is happening now since Taal volcano started being restive and calamitous from January 12. People’s gear shifting to kindheartedness, or at least a good number of them, was seemingly automatic. It was not because this administration, despite its big mouth and obligated resources, was at the tail-end, if at all. It was because of people’s sheer goodness.
But of course, it is naturally conspicuous when a government harmonizes with the worst of times by becoming one. It is not too bad to be slow but sure. It is so when it has become detached and thoughtless. Or how can you make out of a man who, in the midst of disaster, still barks on something else and hits people no end?