Inspiration comes in the funniest and sometimes, most unexpected ways. Sometimes when we choose to meditate or to take time off of our busy schedules, we give our brains a much needed break which allows it to find answers to whatever predicaments we find ourselves in. However, sometimes we get inspired during our day to day activities, and it will take someone to really listen or to look closer to what is happening around them. Sometimes we need to be present so that we can capture that moment. However, sometimes inspiration comes from our closest of friends, or from people whom we are not acquainted with that share the kindest of words when we least expect it.

As part of my first year units in law school, we covered Principles of Criminal Liability. My lecturer at the time mentioned something I found quite intriguing. We are not mandated by law to do that which is good, but we will be found liable if we do that which the law makes a crime. He gave an example of a person drowning in a nearby lake as you passed by and explained that law does not mandate you to save that person’s life. However, if you happened to be the cause of the person’s loss of life, you would more likely be held criminally liable.

I have always found the interplay between law and morality quite fascinating. During my first year, we had a class on Social Foundations of Law while in our third year, we took a Jurisprudence class; both of which I absolutely enjoyed. They all try and go to the root of the matter and find out the convergence and interaction of law and society and how and why law is made the way it is, among other things. The state of mind. There are crimes that originate from a social point of view, while there are those that are created for law and order. Take for instance, the loss of life. Homicide or murder has never been praised in any jurisdiction, well, not that I know of. This is not just a geographical issue, it goes to the heart of man that such an act is grievous and cannot be taken lightly. Traditional laws were there before colonization and there was punishment for such. However, compare murder to traffic cases. As my jurisprudence lecturer put it, there are crimes created that are crimes by the virtue of these acts being inherently ‘wrong’ to human beings; while others like traffic offences are crimes because law makes them so in order to maintain order.

Therefore, what would be the point of bringing all of these perspectives to play, and how are they even remotely connected to inspiration? Well, I find it interesting that not even law compels man to do good, even though part of criminal law is founded on the inherent understanding of what is good and evil to man. However, as Jeremy Bentham put it, pain and pleasure are the greatest springs of human action. When one seeks to motivate another, they have the option of using pain or pleasure to do so, whether or not the action they seek to be done is good or bad. This brings me back to my point on inspiration where most ordinary folks would go for pleasure.

More often than not we underestimate the value of a good word. Just recently, a little bird informed me of a sort of a scuffle between a man who, apparently, is a health worker and a man who was washing his car. What happened was that a young woman parked her car and was about to leave when a man approached her and asked her for her permission to wash the car. She politely declined. The man insisted and from the looks of it, seemed desperate. The young woman offered to give the man the money instead and the man insisted that he cannot take money without working for it. After much insistence, the young lady reluctantly allowed the man to wash the exterior body of the vehicle and proceeded to lock it then left. Before she could get far, her phone seemingly rang and she answered it. A much older man with a mask on came to where the young woman’s car was parked and began to talk to the man washing the car. The older man seemed to have asked the man about his mask because the man reached into his pocket and produced it. This did not sit well with the masked man.

According to my source, the owner of the vehicle was apprehensive because the man did not wear a mask in public, much less the fact that he was cleaning his car. However, what intrigued me was the fact that the owner of the vehicle was more concerned about the health of the man because he claimed that his car frequents the hospital every day. The owner of the vehicle was a health worker. He was alluding to the fact that the man washing his car was at more risk of contracting the virus from the car as he was not wearing any protective gear. He insisted that the man should have taken the money offered by the young woman because she more often than not knew why she offered it freely. The fact that the young woman accepted the man’s request to clean the exterior of the vehicle seems to state that the young woman may not have thought of the fact that the unprotected man may actually contract the virus. My source went on to explain that the owner of the vehicle talked to the man, and asked him to constantly have his mask on whenever he was in public. He went on to add that if he wished to wash his car but lacked protective gear, that he must speak out and the owner would walk in the supermarket with him and get him a pair or two.

As my source told me all this, I could tell that the act of kindness by the owner of the vehicle surprised both my source and the cleaner. It is not every day that we encounter people like these that appear more concerned about us than we do about ourselves. I do not know if this act of kindness meant much to the cleaner that day but I can only hope that it did. It is acts like these that restore faith in humanity. The owner of that car might have as well saved that man’s life by making him more cautious of his every day encounters and ensuring that he is protected before entering any public area. It may have opened his inner eyes and made him more aware of the kindness that still exists in other people.

In times like these where we become desperate to find solutions to predicaments that we find ourselves in, the most important thing to remember is that we must never lose hope. Let us keep hope alive.



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