Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Guilty Conscience

On my way to the bus stop today, I came across a sight that made me think that my life was not so bad after all. There was a lady, naked and extremely frail, by the road. She was moving on her hands, since she didn’t have one leg, and the other had been rendered powerless because of the lack of strength. She looked pale and exhausted. I wondered how long it will be before she becomes a victim of the awfully cold winters.

I was getting late so didn’t stop to help her. It was like so many other times, where I have wanted to help, but chosen not to go out of my way in doing so. Will without action is futile. I know I am not indifferent, but I am also not proactive and forthcoming. I feel so useless.

When I sat in the bus, I started feeling guilty. Yes, just as I do, on those numerous other occasions when I could have done something which means a little to me but could have done them a lot of good. I could have got her food to eat, given her some money, or got her an old t-shirt from home. But I didn’t do any of it. Going to meet friends was the most important thing in life.

There are moments that just force you to ponder- Why this disparity? There are people like us, who have all the necessities in life, if not luxuries and on the other side of the fence, there are the destitute and helpless, who have just been pushed deeper into their side of the divide partly because of the social and economic layout of our country. In colloquial terms, we often use the phrase the 'haves' and the 'have nots' to refer to these two sides of society.

Despite of all their impediments, we, the 'haves' are the ones who can’t stop craving for more while they are satisfied with two meals a day and a room over their head, no matter how meager the meal may be or how weak the roof may be. We are the ones who can lend a helping hand, and yet, we shirk of the responsibility as the self-sufficient section of the society and let them be.
Charles Darwin said, “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” I couldn’t have put it in better words.

4 comments:

pallavi said...

The very fact that you have some guilty conscience shows that you are concerned about the sad state of affairs.I belong to the same category,you know.. you have your heart in the right place..sometimes it takes courage to do the right thing..but believe me once you get over the initial hesitancy,you can do your bit to make this world a better place..Just dont be too harsh on yourself by being too guilty.. :)

Seeker of Truth said...

A daily 'conscience-cleansing' exercise of sorts is visiting www.hungersite.com and bhookh.com...Such an exercise does not absolve us from guilt, but I can't think of an easier way to contribute on a daily basis and it confounds me why so few people have made it a habit.

Whispering Shadow said...

@Pal
I don't think I am being harsh on myself by writing something on my blog. It is just that I am disappointed with the way the society runs and we all, knowingly or unknowingly, become a part of its cycle.

@AI
That's an interesting link. Will check them out and even post them on my blog. Actually, if you have few more links too, do send them over.

Seeker of Truth said...

Well I don't know any more links. But hungersite.com and affiliates have been around for quite a while, at least since the time I first got net access in ninth grade. I never let go of any opportunity to spread the word though...http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=12152270&tid=2493909276253031766&start=1

or

http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=12152270&tid=2460468300106750348


Do go ahead and lend your voice and blog-space since yours is quite widely visited.