Hey people!

Sometimes small incidents leave a lasting impression in our hearts.

So, it happened today while I was returning from an appointment. On Subway, I was busy reading a book while everyone around was occupied in the little world they had created. I did not even notice that there were two police officers standing next to me. Suddenly, a man on wheelchair moved ahead. What caught my attention was the voice of police officer asking that man to stop moving.

‘Sir, please don’t go forward. Subway is moving. You might get hurt.’

Now, everyone nearby looked upwards to see what was going on (including me). The man paused, both of them conversed for a while, and he started moving ahead again. The police man walked behind him, Sir, the wheels on your chair may get stuck if the train stops abruptly. It can also hurt someone. Please stop.’

The man ignored him and kept moving ahead. Everyone’s eye was on them now. He moved ahead a bit, and shouted at the officer, ‘Is this place good for me to stop man?’ The officer looked irritated. Train had reached it’s destination. Most of the eyes were still on the man while they were getting out of train. The man shouted, ‘What is there to look at me? Come and sit on my chair you fu###ng bast##d.‘ He kept shouting and the reaction of people around changed from pity to disgusting.

The greatest gift you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. ~Brian Tracy  

Both of us stepped in the same lift. I did not want to get in because of him, but somehow I entered. Surprisingly, he appeared calm now. He looked friendly and allowed others to get off before him.  As I walked out of lift, a forgotten incident from my childhood flashed in my memory. I would be six-seven years old. Somehow, I managed to get lipstick of my Mom, and secretly applied it before going to a play date. Once I reached there, everyone started looking at me with a weird smile on their faces.

Though I do not remember those eyes, my friend’s Mom’s voice still echoes in my ears. ‘Shanu, did you notice her lipstick?’

And they laughed together. I bit my lips, eat the whole lipstick and washed my face zillion times. Those impressions of shame, discomfort are still there in my heart somewhere. Like even now, it makes me feel bad. Some incidents leave everlasting impression. I just wonder, if that small moment of discomfort and unwanted attention made me feel so bad about myself, what about that guy?

He handles unwanted attention every single day. Just because he is different, he is the star of the show everywhere. But, that attraction is not to appreciate him. Our one look and it fills his heart with rejection, sorrow, and sadness. More than the mirror, it’s our eyes who reminds him of his in-capabilities.

‘We should not judge people’– I grew up listening to this. 

Still, the man’s behavior in the train irked me. I kinda judged him for being disrespectful, and annoying. By making him wrong for who he was, I gave myself a temporary boost- a feeling that I am better person. But was I really being a good person? Not sure if this happens to you, but a good way to get over it is to read the story behind those faces. Following are the things which might help:-
  • The only person who knows the absolute truth about you is you, and the same applies to other person too. Before you judge, know that you are not ‘them’.
  •  Compassion sets you free. Everyone deserves kindness, and it includes you too.
  •  Taking judgement breaks helps. As soon as there is a desire to judge, it’s good to think nothing or force the mind to think differently. Take a pause, three deep breath , and see again. It may be hard initially, but practice makes you perfect!
  • Be conscious, are you stereotyping? Most of the times, we judge people based on age, caste, region, and religion. Something which can help us is to remind ourselves that we all are different and unique.
  • Learn about others. If you are judgmental about a certain set of people, may be you need to know their background, their history. A little more knowledge helps to know what created those beliefs system. It also helps to be a little more kind.

Human beings are walking libraries, and each one of us is fighting a battle. Those battles break us into pieces and make our hearts scream in pain. Yet we get up, put a big, bright smile on our faces, and get ready to face the world again. Shouldn’t it be enough to be a little more compassionate today?