EDITORIAL - Disasters bring out the best and worst in people

The Freeman

We see this during every major widespread disaster; people who are making the situation better and those who are making it even worse.

On one hand you have people who are helping others. These are the ones who volunteer to clear streets and clean up debris, the ones who offer free charging of gadgets, the ones who offer free water, or those who help move things for others.

On the other hand you have the ones who aren’t helping the situation but only helping themselves to the situation. We are talking about those who sell back fuel or water at exorbitant prices, those who gouge prices of much sought-after construction materials, those who levy fees for letting others charge their devices, and those who overprice fare, among other such acts.

They may think they are helping others in their own way, that they are “entrepreneurs” using their “initiative”, but in reality they are just opportunistic vultures taking advantage of the situation to enrich themselves.

While some may say we can’t totally blame them because they are just making the best of the situation they have been given, what they are doing is compounding the suffering of others.

Look, who isn’t having a difficult time right now? What with most of us still having no power, no water, and no access to communication. With long lines for ATMs, people are looking to hang on to their last peso or at least spend it wisely.

Then come these opportunists forcing them to hand over something that could have been better spent for something else or used for another resource.

We also cannot blame those who have no choice but to give in to the temptation and buy from opportunists, price gougers, and vultures. Given this very difficult and desperate time and they would rather have a roof over their head, fuel or water in the tank, and food on the table, than keep their principles intact.

Of course it is never just black and white, some people may be helping some while doing more harm to others. Like we said, this is a desperate time.

Disasters always have a way of bringing out the best and the worst in people. Between those who make the situation better and those who make it worse, where do you belong?


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