Knocking off from work much earlier than usual due to a bad headache, a woman applied for a half day leave and was heading home around mid afternoon. The local public bus that would take her home came after a few minutes of waiting. The woman boarded the bus, whipped out the fare card from her bag, scanned it and went on to find a seat in the relatively empty afternoon bus. A few seats in front of her was a man; head hung low, arms folded, presumably asleep. A couple of feet from him was this young kid probably around seven years of age – believed to be the man’s son – making an inconceivably-loud din in the train; running, jumping around and shouting at random. It was practically impossible for the woman to get a shut eye.
Being well mannered, the woman tried to ignore the racket. After a few minutes, it was apparent that there was no way the woman could take that much needed rest with all that commotion. Irritated by the father’s lack of interest and discipline, the woman got out from her seat, stormed in front and stood before the man. With an angry tone, the woman raised her voice, “Hey Mister, I know you may be tired from work and need the rest, but you should be responsible and discipline your son who is making so much noise in this otherwise quiet afternoon! Can’t you see that he is being a nuisance in the bus?!”
The man unfolded his arms, looked up at the woman with tears streaming down his eyes and spoke, “I’m so sorry, Miss. My wife just passed away two hours ago. I just picked up my son from school but I don’t know how to face him and tell him that his mother is not coming home today.”
The woman, disarmed and disheartened by her own lack of behavior sat beside the man and wept with him.
Sometimes, it’s easy for us to just sum up a person or cast judgments at them at the bat of the eyelid. We all have a story to tell and our own battles to fight. While we may not be able to fight each other’s battles, least we could do is to not make the battles tougher through pigeonholing and prejudgment. While it is easy to just judge others, sometimes we could look beyond the superficial to discover a person’s hurt or need. Our help may not be necessary, but we could always weep with them, for empathy is one of the greatest gifts we could give to people.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”, said Plato.
– A story from a time forgotten; heard and retold through the owner of this space.
#1. It’s appalling how we can so easily cast judgments or deem its worth when [or just because] we don’t understand [the full rational of things].
The world ridicules and condemns those who thought that the earth was round instead of the shape of a ‘plate’ where the traveler will fall into nothingness if he gets beyond the edge of the world. The world ridicules and condemns the innovators who thought that the duration of long distance traveling could be severely reduced via traveling on air, and who thought that every household will own a personal home computer at home. Truth is, people rubbish what they don’t understand, even till today.
#2. It’s appalling how people can so easily cast judgments over someone for a matter they have no complete knowledge about.
Making a judgment call over a hearsay, rumor, over the grapevine, sensationalized news, gossip is like concluding that a movie is good/bad by watching its trailer. How can you rightly tell that a movie is good or bad simply from a trailer that is less than 1% of the entire contents of the movie? It’s like saying oranges suck because someone said it was bad. The person who coined ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ was never more right.
#3. It’s even more appalling how people can so easily cast judgments over someone just because they are not attached or closely related to them.
It’s like one doesn’t need to keep his own morality in check. He could say whatever he want to say, do whatever he wants, because that person is unrelated or unimportant to him, hence the recipient’s feelings doesn’t matter one bit. What if you found out that the person you’re condemning is your long lost sibling?
We’ve all heard of CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility.
Now maybe it’s time to adopt PSR – Personal Social Responsibility.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”