If a fellow is lying unconscious on the footpath what do we do?
If an old lady inside a crowded bus is standing what do we do?
If we find a lone child crying in a park or a mall what do we do?
If a bag or a purse is found lying on the ground what do we do?
If we see two men fighting in the market street what do we do?
If we see someone trip of his bike on the road what do we do?
'Strangers are dangers' is what we have learnt since childhood.And strange indeed is the way we interpret and use this lesson for our safety throughout life.There is a universal feeling that strangers bring ill and evil which no wise man will want to experience.What we forget is danger always comes to everyone like a surprise guest,we never know what the next moment brings.In such dilemmas especially when it happens to someone who we do not know of,it is difficult to decide whether to take that one step forward and help.
It happened to me once,a young man on a bike stopped in front of me while I was walking back home.He seemed to be tensed,looking at me he said”Madam,I need help!”I gave him a perplexed look and said”But I do not know you!”I started hurrying thinking he might be one of those from the chain snatcher's gang.He stopped me then and there and said”Madam,my wife has met with an accident and she is in the hospital,I forgot to get my purse while leaving home.My bike is out of petrol and I need to rush,can you give me a fifty rupees please”.Listening to him I had many thoughts rushing inside my head”What if he is just an another lying drunkard?What if his wife has really met with an accident?What if he is not married at all?What if my fifty rupees can help someone?”I did not know what to do,expecting my confusion he said”Madam,my name is Pradeep.I work as an engineer,you can take mine and my wife’s number.I will call you in an hour and return your money by today evening,please Madam!”It was not easy for me to refuse,I gave him the money and took his number.I called him in the evening to inquire about his wife,he did pick up the call and talk.He thanked me and even promised to meet me very soon.He was a decent chap or so I thought,I have never heard from him again.I still have my doubts about his story,who knows it might have been true.But I learnt my lessons well,strangers can be really strange!
After this weird happening I think a hundred times before I get into a stranger’s shoes.There were times when I could have actually helped a few of them without losing anything.But I chose not to,I was caught by the 'TBTC' Syndrome.Sometimes I feel we all have lost it to live together with humanity.The world belongs to people who believe in the principle of 'Saving my ass,making my money,having my fun and living my life'.
For most of us passerbys in emergency situations the feeling of responsibility and sympathy is largely a come and go phenomenon.Most of us just stand and stare as though we are watching a street play.We hesitate to help,there is always a second thought in our mind before we intervene.We feel that helping strangers in distress is something like buying atom bombs for ourselves.We do not feel responsible and find no necessity to help when someone is in trouble,simply because each one of us know and allow ourselves to tell”It is none of my business,I am too busy to care!”
There is something called as the 'Bystander’s Effect’ according to which more the number of bystanders less likely that someone offers help,this is indeed true.In a large group the responsibility is least likely to be taken by anyone because each one expects the other to do.Is that person’s life any less important than our kith and kin’s?What if it was us on the road instead of him?These are a few things everyone should think about.God forbid,if something bad happens to us or our near and dear ones on the streets we will have nothing more than a bunch of curious men and women just looking at what is happening.
|“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us everyday”-Sally Koch|
Sometimes circumstances can be nasty,some unavoidable risk may follow us while helping someone and how well we can handle that depends on our goodness,willingness and strength.Some people may even misinterpret our intentions if we offer them any help.Trust does not come easy in this age of melting morals.It is not really easy to decide what to do during such moments.But there will be no time to think at all,some presence of mind and a little empathy from our side are things that can really matter.Some situations are like a blessing,a small help that we offered to someone on someday may bring a joy that will last all our life.Not everyone gets a chance to experience a stranger’s gratitude,when even a smile is hard to exchange in today’s times.
In our world we find little time and opportunity to pay attention to ourselves and our family,no wonder it is difficult to show some unconditional care for somebody else.We have a hard and long way to go.If there is anything that we can do for someone wanting help without harming anyone or ourselves,we should go ahead and do it.I know this is easy to say but tough to practise.We can only wish that this'Too busy to care’belief of ours will change some day into'Too glad to aid’,for who knows it may be you,me or anyone amongst us next needing help on the street.