Humanity Lost

This happened a couple of months back. I was returning from the airport, after dropping my father for his Haj trip, at 2am with my cousins. On our way we saw some boys waving for help as their car had broken. The very first instinct that I had was to ignore and move ahead. And I did follow my instinct. We moved ahead.

A few kilometers ahead, I started thinking whether I was right in ignoring people in need. My head spontaneously said what I did was perfectly all right. It is not safe to stop the car in the middle of the night to help people. But my heart meekly said it was wrong. I should not be so heartless. After all the very first lesson of life was to be humble and helpful towards people in the society.

So do we end up forgetting all that we are taught from the time we are born – specially the lessons of morality and humanity?

Not exactly! I don’t think I forgot by basic education in humanity. All I did was being cautious and there is nothing wrong with it. In fact being cautious in present times is most important. Everyday, the newspaper columns and news channel blabbering is full of crime news – eve teasing, chain snatching, rape, car dacoity, and what not.

People have lost faith in each other and we are all living in our own bubbles most of the time, completely unaware of people in our surroundings. And this is not a case of just one particular country, but spans across all nations of the world. There was news on the 6th of February 2014, wherein an old lady in Australia died in her house 8 years ago and no one knew about it. Her skeleton was recovered 8 years later. A similar kind of story surfaced in India few years back, where two sisters were living alone in a flat and were almost dead due to lack of food for months.

In both cases, the underlying theme is same. We hardly care about the person living next door. But I don’t think this is our fault entirely. As I said earlier, we need to be cautious. We never know if the neighbor belongs to some criminal gang or some crazy cult or any other fishy group.

This is a painful state of affairs. And it is not possible to point at something specifically that’s is triggering such dreadful events. And I really cannot think that there is any perfect way to make the society free of these evils except having strict implementation of law, which can, to some extent, reduce the frequency of such incidents.

We are all suspicious of each other. But does that mean that we are heading towards an era where no one helps anyone? Will the human race survive for long without helping and trusting each other?

I really don’t know the reason or the solution to these issues. I wrote this article simply because my own act put me in a dilemma weather to follow my heart or my head. I am sure most people would have done what I did and that thought gives me all the solace needed.

With all due respect to Robert Frost, I will write a few lines of his famous (and one of my favorite) poem – The Road Not taken, but with a few changes by me:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one MOST traveled by,
(original: I took the one less traveled by)
And that has made all the difference.

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