Be Kind

This is an incident that happened when the world was still coping up against COVID 19. Today as I write this, it’s been over two years and I still carry with me the lesson this incident taught.

I was travelling in Bengaluru metro. It was mostly empty with people abiding by the social distancing norms set in place by the authorities. I couldn’t find a seat because every other alternate seat was occupied in my metro car. So I was standing near the doors where the seats are usually reserved for people who need them. That is when this happened.

A guy, probably in his fifties, was already seated in one of those reserved seats.  Let’s call him Mr. J. An elderly man, probably in his late seventies entered our metro car. Let’s call him Mr. K.  He walked upto  Mr. J, and asked if he could take his seat. Mr. J blatantly and rudely refused claiming he was also a senior citizen. Mr. K could not occupy the other seat as it was off limits due to the social distancing rule. Mr. K requested him again, only to be denied again. He had no choice but to wait. A kind lady who witnessed this, gave her seat up. That look of relief and gratefulness on the face of Mr. K continues to stay with me.

I am not claiming Mr. J didn’t need the seat. I am just saying Mr. K deserved it more. Mr. J, by an insurmountable amount was younger than Mr. K and he could have managed without a seat for a few stops. He had a choice. He had a choice to be kind, but he chose to look other way and be a jerk, and I have not stopped thinking about it ever since.

It made me realise the people can be excruciatingly cruel without drawing even a drop of blood.  I also realised it’s always a choice – to be good or to be bad; to be a jerk or to be kind; to have someone’s back or to throw them under the bus. This very choice decides on which side of the pendulum do we ultimately belong.

The world is a difficult place. Nobody knows what the other is going through; what they are battling with. If you ever have have to choose between being brutal and being kind,  I hope you would be brave enough to choose the latter.



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