Our friend rushed off to Ankleshwar yesterday evening because his uncle had fallen and broken his ankle. Today I called up to find out how everything was, and to get more detailed information as to what exactly had happened. The saddest part of the story recounted was how this old man sat by the side of the road asking to be helped for over an hour, but nobody stopped or provided any assistance to him. It was only when an acquaintance saw him by chance, that he was able to be taken to a hospital.
Why have we become so uncaring of one another in ways that are dehumanised and hateful, uncaring and shameful. I cannot even begin to comprehend these attitude of selfishness; where the effort to engage with the life's of others, appears so difficult a task. The basic principles of how a society functions in accordance with interdependency and the cooperation of people with one another, is the essential framework of any society's governance; and every citizen would be obliged to play by these rules if we are to benefit from the wisdom of this structure of coordination.
When I lived for six months in New York in 1990, I had a lovely apartment in Manhattan. Located in Chelsea, the city outside my window was always alive and pulsating. But the paradox was, that on either side of my apartment lived two old people: shut away in their respective studio apartments, perpetually fearful and alone. Nobody ever visited them nor did they encourage any interaction; and I would always think to myself that if it was India, then such a situation of neglect and abandonment would be impossible to imagine. How foolish were my naive sentiments!
The collective that we have at home today, continues to address these very issues of engagement and concern to things around us; that if as people we do not consciously cultivate, then the process of our own awareness would be potentially stifled and limited. But everyday is like battling a strong wind whilst holding a lit candle. Each day one has to dig deeper to hold the conviction that mediocrity will not finally bury us all. I wonder what will it take for us to make these simple changes in attitude that will open our eyes to a wider horizon of wisdom; or do we just prefer the little prisons of pedestrian values we choose to live by and finally die by too?