Forget the phone; let’s find our humanity and get our priorities right

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

This much is undeniable. We live in a sad world where judging by certain behaviours, you have to say there is something terribly amiss about the make up of the society we live in. 

It’s almost like some people have become so cold. It appears that their thinking is twisted, priorities are upside down and you just cannot understand their logic. 

Did we miss something somewhere? 

Ironically, we claim to have come a long way and that we’ve made so much progress. That might be the case in some areas and yet it feels like we’re stuck in a rut where we take one step forward and ten steps backwards. 

Come to think of it, I suppose it depends on perspective. Some people will see a glass half full while others will see it half empty. 

Still, we cannot deny that the way certain things are these days is just mind-boggling and with the advent of technology, you really must wonder. 

Don’t get us wrong; technology such as the internet and a lot of the fancy gadgets are great tools when used appropriately. The key is that they are supposed to be controlled by mankind. 

Sadly, what’s happening today is that these tools have controlled mankind instead. Let me explain. How does one begin to explain the sight of a couple going out for dinner and you see both man and woman on their phones just about the whole time? What’s the point of going to dinner?

How do you explain when a family gets together to talk while the kids have earphones the whole time? 

How does one begin to explain some people who would rather spend money on phone credit rather than food for their families? 

Folks, this is what we mean when we say some people really have their priorities screwed. Is it just us or is there something missing here?

Where did we go wrong? And who is responsible for all this?

Yesterday, Pharmacist Lemalu Mathew Mualia, raised a critical matter which perfectly illustrates what we are saying here.

Some three weeks ago, one of the most shocking incidents to have unfolded on these shores took place on Beach Road. An angry man stabbed his wife in public and he could have easily killed her. 

Lemalu was among the first responders and what he saw is extremely disturbing.

 “I can’t express how sad I was for this young woman,” he told the Samoa Observer. “On the day of the incident, I ran to my Pharmacy to get gauze but when I got to get her, the people around her were just standing there.” 

“They were just taking pictures. Some of them were videoing what was happening while this young woman was dying.”

Nearly three weeks since the attack, Lemalu said he couldn’t fathom how people’s behaviour has changed from a country of loving helpers to a bunch of social media-hungry heartless people who were more concerned about their photos than the life of a woman who was dying with “no family around.”

“I tried my best to stabilize her while waiting for the ambulance,” Lemalu said.

“Her wounds we’re horrific. I took her into the ambulance. I tried and asked her to say a prayer with me, which she did. ‘Jesus got my back,’ she whispered to me.”

The good news is that the woman has since been discharged, thanks to the quick thinking of people like Lemalu.

 “It was an instinctive re- action that I ran over after finding out what happened to try and stabilise her neck wounds while we waited for the ambulance,” he said. “The pictures alone are worth a thousand words, so I’ll leave it there. This young woman suffered nine stab wounds on her neck and back plus lacerations.”

All that and yet some people were more interested in just taking their pictures and videos? 

Come on Samoa, we are a lot better than that.

Let’s not allow technology and wanting to be a social media hero overnight to take over our duty to care and love for each other. Thank God for people like Lemalu. We are afraid to imagine what could have happened if he wasn’t there at the right time?

And why are we making a big deal out of this?

It’s simple. The stabbing in Apia three weeks ago will not be the last incident of its kind in Samoa. But by raising the issue, we hope people react better next time so that instead of reaching for their phones, they could get on their knees and offer help. It might just save someone’s life.

What do you think?

Have a safe Wednesday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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