A Missing lifeline of the modern life: Compassion

Vimal Kumar

Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

Let us impart adequate knowledge and offer enough opportunities to ensure the perennial flow of compassion in the next generation and generations to follow.

It was as a usual Monday morning in the city of Varco—a city of tall buildings, wider roads, and impatient trains. Elevators were running up and down, escalators were making rhythmic melodramatic sound and humans were running frantically around to catch the train. My run ended as I boarded the train through the last door of the end coach and found a place to stand comfortably. During this time of the day, there are not only office-goers but also various other sects from society.  Among all, there were two children in their school uniforms accompanied by their father. The elder child was nine and the younger one appeared to be five. They also entered through the same door as I did. The elder child threw himself on the red coloured seat, one of the paired seats. Whereas their father managed to find a place to stand and enhanced his balance by holding an adjacent metallic pole. The younger one did not manage to find a seat and the subdued thought of being left behind was making him restless. He was curling his supple body around his father’s torso. Meantime, eyes were prying around and trying to maintain gaze with any sensible eye, who could offer him a seat; however, no eye was available for interaction and no opportunities seemed feasible.

A lady was seating just on the opposite side of the paired seat. Her vigilant eyes had a glance at him and decided to give the seat to him. His tireless search and anguished desperation ended, and he took the seat shyly and mumbled, “thank you.” The elder boy was watching intently, had a sudden stroke of thought: why only reserved seats and not any seat should be meant for a person, who needs it more than the person occupying it? Even he could not find a convincing answer, another question popped up: how do we decide that whose needs are bigger? Are there any criteria to decide or its left to the human’s judgement? Numerous entangled mires of questions lead to strong inner-conflict and inflicted remorse and guilt as he just lost his opportunity to wash it off.

As the journey continued, faces, phones, and fellow passengers kept changing; however, silence, gloominess, and reluctance towards humane interaction remained the same. At the next stop, an old lady pushing a luggage cart entered through the same door. She had supported her mortal body with buckled feet which were bulged outward. Her hands were placed on the cart to support it and her weight, simultaneously. She moved in slowly. Her eyes were not looking around but were fixed steadily on the floor as if she was not vying for any seat. It appeared as if her age had already taught her that the language of an eye is beyond human’s comprehension.

The elder boy was seeing another opportunity to come out of inflicted blow. He was looking intermittently at his father to get concurrence and at the old lady to convey his intent. It kindled little hope, and she moved a little nearer. His father insisted with contorted facial gestures to remain seated. On one side, it was the parent’s pressure to remain seated; on the other side, it was a moral obligation. His butts were barely rested on the seat. Despite this muddied situation, he finally decided to give the seat to the old lady and rose above. She walked closer. In a fraction of a moment, his father lost his temper and started shouting indiscriminately. His butts, little raised above, fell firmly on the seat and the old lady’s hope to rest her tired muscles were trampled.

Next week, I was waiting at the same place near to the last door of the end coach. I looked around, but I could not have a glimpse of boys or their parent. Yes, there was a little girl along with her mother. She was probably eight years old and her mother age could be… That is a difficult guess! The little girl was pulling a trolley mounted bag, at least half of her weight, and watching inquisitively around, and her mother was glued to her phone.

The train entered the station and the coach door aligned with the station door with mechanical musical melody and opened simultaneously in the shadow of blinking red light. The little girl ran amok and slept on a pair of seats, as her little body can barely reserve even one seat. The coach was again filled with passengers and the deafening silence. Her mother entered slowly and sat on one of the grabbed seats and continued with her business. Little girl, swinging her feet, kept watching the fellow passengers and often reading without comprehending and assimilating “Give the seat to the passenger, who need it more than you do.”

It should not be misconstrued that humans are no longer compassionate animal, or their compassion reserve is depleted beyond replenishable level; at the same time, it cannot be affirmed and ascertained that we are imparting adequate knowledge or offering enough opportunities to ensure the perennial flow of compassion in next generation and generations to follow. Being compassionate towards fellow humans and animals is innate human nature and there could be nothing more soothing and joyful to our mind, body and soul than living in the atmosphere of compassionate behaviours. However, it appeared to be partially covered with earthly dust, which is created due to the incessant frolicking of humans in the fear of being insecure. There is a need to take a pause and think in the ambience of being content and fulfilled.

Reasons are always numerous, but sometimes consequences are uglier than the ugliest, and so, for these behaviours. We are offering extraordinarily little opportunities for our children to learn and imitate. The utmost responsibility lies with us as an adult to reform our behaviours which could offer an opportunity for upcoming generations to follow through and pass on.