February 08, 2008

A different perspective

While reading Shantaram I came across this ordinary, but interesting paragraph. It talks about a 19 year old slum dweller who resorts to theft.
The 19 year old states: I know someday I might get caught, but I hope not. I hope the Enlightened One is on my side. It's for my sister. I pray that no harm will come to me, you see, because I'm not stealing for myself, but for my sister. She will be married soon, and there is not enough to pay the promised dowry. It is my responsibility. I'm the oldest son.
So... Why am I sharing this?

A few days back, past midnight, I was awaken to a huge pandemonium in my neighborhood. The dogs were barking and people were shouting. When I opened my window, I saw a group of men pounding two teenagers and yelling "chori kartha hai!!??"... meaning "You dare stealing!!??". The teenagers were all in tears, hand-folded, squealing and involuntarily chattering "sorry sorry..." The drama continued for almost half an hour. While the drama was unfolding I was least sympathetic to those teenagers. In fact, I was glad that someone was thrashing them on my behalf. Call it mob psychology or whatever...

The next day, I forgot that incident and got busy with my daily chores.

A paragraph like the one from Shantaram can remind you about your limitation to put things in the right perspective before acting...

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