23rd June,2017, I was with my daughter, returning from her crèche. Took escalators to the underground metro as lifts were absent and I was carrying my daughter in a pram. It’s prohibited to carry a pram on escalators but I had no other option as I was alone and this is what I do daily.
But today I was jolted for a fraction of seconds. At the end of the escalator as I was about to push the pram onto the floor the pram got stuck at the end and I was practically stranded on one of the stairs behind the pram. As the stairs kept revolving I lost my balance but kept holding the push cart and eventually it was lifted from ground on one end while the front wheels were still stuck. It raised to a level where I thought the baby would fall from the cart, almost inverted. I was petrified with fear especially because as a child I heard few accidents involving escalators (just heard, not witnessed) and I was even more worried about the safety of my child which is natural for any mother on the earth (be it human or an animal, don’t you agree with me?). Then a passerby rushed and helped me to release the pram safely to the floor. And I instantly made it to the shore. She and her companion enquired my well-being not just once but many times (read four to five times) before they took the escalators upwards. They saved me and my daughter from a possible accident.
I understand it very well that this might not be a big incident but could have been an accident, that might be or might not be serious. But the crux of the entire episode lies in the helping hands that acted in time. Who were they? They were not just a man or a woman but human beings because they have a heart that can feel the pain of others and generosity to lend out a helping hand.
Mother Teresa said : Helping hands are better than praying lips.
This is true to its core. And not many remember this is also a bitter truth about the world out there. Don’t believe me? Check out your FB pages. Every day we see innumerable posts depicting someone or the other in a depleted/ deprived state demanding our attention, a like, a share, a comment. How helpful are such posts to the people actually concerned is my question? Taking into consideration the far reach social media has I am ready to believe that such posts bring an awareness thus creating an avenue of help from somewhere. What is disturbing are the videos posted on social media showing a person being brutalised mercilessly or a person in distress, seeking help. Instead of helping or at least trying to help, people are shooting the helplessness of the person to get more likes and comments on their account, bizarre isn’t it?
It’s not just the reserves of non-renewable resources that are getting depleted but qualities that are characteristic traits of a “Human” being like compassion, benevolence, forgiveness etc are on verge of depletion.
So engrossed we are with our lives that we forgot to smile even in our private moments, to and with our near and dear ones let alone strangers. We are constantly in fear that our effort to help someone might have repercussions on our lives or might simply waste our time. We fear asking “How Are You?” because we think the other person might just share his or her problems and we might land up in an obligatory position to help them. In short we are being “Selfish” where everything in life is about:
- Me & Myself
- We & Ourselves (strictly restricted to immediate family consisting of a man, a wife and children). Anything or anyone out of this realm are strangers.
Being Human is not about the ability to think because that is what distinguishes us from animals. Being Human is about having humanity to be precise.
I have heard people saying life is more complicated these days thanks to the competition all around. That’s the reason for their haste and their selfish behaviour to secure things for themselves and family. In this run to the finishing line we are becoming more and more oblivious and indifferent to the pain and sorrow of a fellow human being. And irony is that we don’t want anyone to see and point out at this side of our nature. “Why don’t anyone help them?”, “Why no one is coming forward with the initiative?”, “Someone please help” – are few statements that we make to show everyone around that we have a soft heart, an emotional side that feels for others. But we fail to understand that, that “someone” or “anyone” can be us or someone else might raise such slogans when we are in trouble because”what to goes out comes back” this is the rule of life.
Have you heard about this most tossed up line “life is too short, make the most of it”? I am sure you would have. Well, living life is not just about being merry everyday yourself. It is also about giving or being a reason for happiness of someone else. There’s more to this life as a “Human Being”. There’s a purpose to this life transcending the levels of selfish motives. How can we serve that purpose? I understand that not everyone is a Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi but surely there is something that we all can do given our limitations and these are very simple things to do:
- Smile, it costs nothing: Yes a smile costs nothing but atmosphere that a warm smile can create is beyond any explanation. It brings out positivity and sets positivity which is so much important in this otherwise negative world around. A positive atmosphere can influence productivity to a major extent.
- Mind your tone and tongue: Our words and how we say them show what we are. An acid tongue can harm more than a bullet, its ain’t any discovery. There is no point in saying “I didn’t mean it that way” after the damage is done. Use your words wisely to soothe and ease the pain of a person and not escalate it. If you can’t then better keep mum.
- Try to help at least: I have heard people saying “if I had money I would have definitely helped you”. I understand there are so many matters in this world that needs only money to be resolved. But help can be otherwise as well. For example: a person needs money for surgery and he or she seeks your help and for obvious reasons you can’t support that person with that amount of money, but you can buy the medicines or can arrange food, take care of that person’s family in their absence, offer to stay at hospital. Remember help is not always financial. What matters most is your will to help and your effort to make a little difference.
- Little things matter: If God has blessed you with what you need or may be little more in abundance show your thankfulness to him doing little things. Walking down the street you see a beggar famished, buy him bread; a salesperson at your door in the hot and humid weather offer him a glass of water; a person met with an accident offer him first aid and assist in hospitalisation if needed. Little things do matter!
The moment when you start feeling and believing that this world is like your family that is the beginning of a change. Don’t await the change, you be it.