Compassion is a word that I hardly get to hear these days. Now it is all about passion, interests and marching ahead without even bothering to look around us. In this fast paced life, all one wants is to rise and rise. Even if it means to step on the shoulders of someone else. Some where money took over feelings and people do not bother to care for each other unless and until there is a benefit. Monetary or otherwise. Compassion is a lost trait and nobody is in a hurry or in the mood to look for it. Compassion is something beyond a feeling of sympathy. It is something that should come straight from the heart. It should hurt. The pain must be felt for the other person. If not, then it is not compassion. These days people are busy mocking each other without realizing how the other person feels. I don't have a word to describe such kind of behavior.
I am sharing a few instances here, which clearly proved to me that compassion was long dead.
One day while I was walking back home from work, I heard some painful whines. I took a detour and walked to my next road to check what the noise was. I saw a man pelting stones the size of a shot put ball on a poor dog who was tied to a house. The dog was tied for God's sake, no way would it have tried to harm the man. I felt so angry that I started yelling at the man asking what his problem was. He said nothing, he just wanted to pelt stones at the dog. I warned him telling that I have contacts and will call the PETA people for cruelty towards animals and I asked him to walk off. To my surprise he walks inside the same house where the dog was tied and tells me that the dog belonged to him. I was in tears as I saw the dog's frightful eyes when it looked at its owner. This animal is supposed to be man's best friend and here the best friend was worse than an enemy.
The security guy in my lane is a nice man. He is awake all night to look after the lane and has a keen eye when it comes to trespassers. He is an old man and I'm sure that this is his only source of income. He is always sharply dressed. In the security uniform and with neat shoes. During winter I see him with a jacket and a cap and the mandatory stick in his hand. He walks around the lane all night, keeping even stray dogs at bay. I respect him for what he does as I know that it is not an easy job. Come rain or snow, these people are expected to keep a watch on the street. But not many people appreciate the effort this person puts in. I have seen people of the lane giving him stale food and sending him out to do petty errands. It hurts me every single time I see this man, crisply dressed in a uniform carrying a plastic cover of food from some house. On the tree that forms his desk, I see his jacket hanging along with a clean steel lunch box that I reckon is sent to him by his wife. And yet, people decide to give him cold stale food that they do not want to throw away. At times I see him carrying garbage bags from houses to the truck or buying vegetables for the housewives of the lane. That is not his job. He is a security officer who slogs all night so that the residents sleep in peace. But who cares, right?
The auto drivers in Bangalore are day light robbers, but not all of them. I take an auto to work every single day and once as soon as I got down from the auto that I had hailed, another auto driver who had parked his vehicle came up to me. He asked me if I knew a girl who was tall and thin and wearing a red dress. I said no and asked why. He said that he had dropped her to office but since she did not have change to pay him, she went up the building to bring back change. The poor man has waited for close to 45 minutes, expecting her return. It broke my heart to tell him that she would not return. He looked so broken that I ended up paying the money that I had received as change from my ride. It was not the total amount, but that was all I was carrying with me. I looked around for a thin and tall girl wearing a red dress all day around the campus to give her a piece of my mind. But there were more than twenty women I saw that matched the description, so I let it be. This is out right cheating and not just lack of compassion. Everyone works really hard to make money, the least people can do is to pay for the services they use.
These are just a few instances as I do not want to turn this post into a rant. You do not have to be a Mother Teresa and try to help people. Just don't do anything instead of troubling other people. Let people be. Everyone has a heart and feelings, try not to walk all over it. Humans, animals and plants included. Just mind your own business and try not to interfere in that of others. This is not asking for too much is it?
This post is written for ‘1000 Voices of Compassion’ where 1000 bloggers from across the world decided to lend their voices for Peace and Compassion on Feb 20th. You can follow the hash tag on twitter here.