128 SECONDS CHANGED ME | I LEARNT AN IMPORTANT TRAIT IN LIFE

Everyone has a story that you know nothing about!

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Photo by Donald Teel on Unsplash

Life teaches us most of the important learning.

Every single experience is a new learning. Well, this is true for almost every other person. We learn new things every day – right from our habits, interests, skills, relationships, communication, personality etc., allowing us to define who we are.

I’m a strong believer in learning through interaction with different people I meet. Sometimes while interacting with peers at work, family and socializing with friends. However, one day, something different happened with me. I learned one of the important traits of life – never be judgmental about people based on their current state of mind. We should bear in mind that we are human beings – a social animal bound to succumb to mistakes.

It was a scorching Wednesday afternoon when the red beaming signal lights forced me to hit the brakes of my motorcycle, bringing the moving vehicles to a standstill. 128 seconds – it displayed on the elapsed time for the green signal. Motorcyclists and cars swarmed around me in no time.

While waiting for the signal to go green, my eyes came across one of the wretched old man barely wearing any clothes in orange. He looked pale, weak and the dry wrinkles on the forehead portrayed his old age.

Everyone around him was disturbed by his presence – who wouldn’t be? He was just another beggar, clothed shabbily, begging around for alms. I feel pity whenever I encounter such a scenario. I try to help people selflessly irrespective of any work that is lined up for me.

Looking at the old man, a series of thoughts ran across my mind –

Was he a father of a son who was left alone on the streets due to the son’s inability to take care of him?

Is he a bereft father who has lost his kids?

Was he a father who turned out to be mentally unstable due to his economic instability?

His eyes were somnolent and sunken that yearned for help. My heart shrunk looking at him and I quickly parked my bike nearby.

I normally don’t carry any food as I travel. However, that day by God’s grace, I had some packed food inside my bag. All I could do was tap his skinny shoulders to hand him the packed food. Initially, he refused.

“Somethings are meant for some people. And you deserve it more than anyone else” I said, giving him the packed food. A comforting tap on his shoulder and I heard his response, “After 10 days”.

Tears trickled down his cheek as he took the first morsel. I had goosebumps all over my body and I knew deep down inside that those were not crocodile tears.

My heart sunk when I heard his words and all I could do was gather courage left within me to move towards my motorcycle. The old man had created a hole in my heart. The sweltering sun with the thought of the old man intensified my parched throat.

There were a lot of people on that busy street that afternoon. Some reluctant, some busy in their own world cursing the old man. It’s easy for us to misjudge anyone, isn’t it?

Well, it happens most of the time with everyone. Not only with strangers but also with our friends, families and our loved ones. We misjudge just for a matter of fact without even knowing their situation. Without understanding their part of the story.

Perhaps, even I fall prey to such instances. However, if you take a moment to breathe and rewind back, maybe you will consider the other person’s state of mind. Everyone has a story that you know nothing about. A bad fight, a family loss, a possible economic situation, has something that might have affected the person leading to that state of mind.

Next time you come across such a person or a situation, take a deep breath and lend a helping hand to the needy or just sit and have a chat with them. There are people who just need your concern and sometimes kind words to share their thoughts. Make this world a better place to live in.

I’ve written more about Don’t Suffer From Silence, TALK

Remember,

Everyone has a story that you know nothing about!

Karthik

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