The coconut plucker

If you don’t know how coconuts are pluck in Sri Lanka, see this

When I was a child, perhaps 7 years old, a man came to our home and called out “ගෙදර කවුද?” (“Is anyone home?”). I went out to see who it was, and it was someone who had slipped down a coconut tree - his chest and forearms were scraped and were oozing blood. He needed help.

I went back inside and told my mother about it, and she replied “It isn’t our responsibility. The people who hired him should take care of him”.

I had to go out and turn the man away, and still, 40 years later, I feel traumatised by the incident.

Yes, it’s true that it wasn’t our responsibility. But we could have done something anyway. Later, much later, I realised that this was because even though it was not our responsibility, we still had a response ability.

Note: I don’t have any animosity towards my mother for this; I can be at peace with her choices and still acknowledge that it was traumatic for me.