Like it or not, the more modernized our world is becoming, the more the people get more egocentric and become more and more individualized. If like in late 90s you still can see people chit chatting with one another on their way to school or work, and they still stare at one another eyes when gathering on the same table to share foods or stories. Nowadays, those kind of thing are becoming lesser and lesser.
On your way to work, you’ll notice everyone is busy staring at their phone, oh yeah, they’re still connecting to other people around them but through technologies and social media. It’s so funny to see how they don’t try to connect with someone who stands or sits next to them, and instead they’re connecting with someone who are miles away which might not know them better than those around them. And on your way going back home, you might see everyone was still staring at their phones, playing mobile games, reading news, listening to the music and whatever.
And at some point, the people get to become even individualism that they no longer care for their surroundings. I’ve always had a low blood sugar problem, so I go blackout once in a while in public areas. And truthfully speaking this is where I start to realize the difference between people few years back and people nowadays. When I lived in Singapore for a while in early 90s, people around me will come forward and ask whether I’m okay when they found me having a black out and sit down in the middle of the road. But when I went there for my undergraduate studies in early 2000s, they no longer care. They’ll just shoot you a ‘wtf is she doing in the middle of the road’ eyes instead coming and asking to see whether I’m okay or not, because my face always go super pale every time I have the black out so I believe it’s hard not to notice that I’m not okay.
Then during my stay in Korea for 5 years from early 2012 to late 2016, I noticed that Korean people (at least Seoul people) are even worse. In Seoul Subway, you’ll notice that some stations have a wide gap between the train and the platform, so if you’re not careful it’ll be super easy to fall into the gap hole. There is this one time, during the rush hour, one Korean Ahjumma (craziest type of auntie in the world I think) pushed me from behind and I fall into the gap hole. And the craziest part is, when I ask for the people around me to help to pull me outside of the hole, everyone is just looking at me. JUST LOOKING AT ME WITHOUT NO INTENTION TO HELP AT ALL! In the end, I used my own strength to climb up from the hole, just right before the door is closing. Lucky me! I can’t even imagine what will happen if the door closed and the train moved before I get out of the gap. >.< I didn’t expect the Korean Ahjumma to say sorry to me since I understand it’s a rush hour and everyone is rushing to go to work, but at least the Ahjumma who pushed me into the hole can come forward and help me out of the hole. Right?
And then the other time is that I was planning to meet up with my friends at around Apgujeong area, but instead my low blood sugar is kicking in and I started to lose vision in Sinsa station, so I get down as fast as I could one the subway door open in Sinsa station, but it’s too late, I blacked out and I remember I was reaching out my hand trying to ask the by passer for help, but again the individualism kicked in and no one was willing to stop by for a second to help me. FYI, it’s Sinsa station, one of the most station with high density in Seoul. So can you imagine from so many people who coming off the train, no one is willing to stop by and give you a hand when you’re in trouble.
I was so disappointed with how cold and how bad people can behave on that day, that’s when I came to decide to do the same. “Okay if you people out there has become so cold and individualized, then maybe I should do the same. I should just concentrate on myself and never tried to help others even when I see someone who might need my help.” At least that’s what I’ve always had in mind until today.
This morning I was on my way to school when my low blood sugar kicked back in after quite a while inside one of the BTS in Bangkok. Reaching the next BTS station, I tried my best to get out of the train and reached for the nearest chair in the station. I didn’t even call out for help since I believed that no one will come to help me even when I asked (that happens several time in Singapore and Seoul). So I just sat down with a really pale face, and not long after that some passengers called the station guard for me and the station guard bring me to the first aid room located in the station. That’s when I started to feel the warmth that I’ve never been able to feel when I lived in Singapore or Seoul. Ah, there’s still good people out there, there’s still someone who cares for their surroundings despite how modernized and individualized this world has became.
So, I decided to write this post and share my story so that everyone out there could realize how hideous an ‘individualism’ can be and how big it will matter if only we would try to put away the ‘individualism’ for a while and give help to those in need. This world will become a better place before you knew it if you do that.
Let’s start now~!
I love to travel and eat!! I'm a freelance Korean English Chinese Bahasa Indonesia interpreter, who love to blog and write. I worked in a plastic surgery hospital in Korea for 5 years before pursuing my interpreting and writing jobs. My previous blog on plastic surgery (which has been permanently closed down T-T) has been published in a book.