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The way of the world

No one is superior as a person since all human feelings and emotions are of the same tenor. Not mere sympathy, but empathy is required when a fellow being succumbs to a calamity. NS Tasneem writes

chandigarh Updated: Dec 14, 2012 10:39 IST
NS Tasneem

In today's world, people are so engrossed in themselves that they seldom reach out. In social gatherings, they mix up with others as a matter of courtesy. Otherwise, they rarely communicate on the platform of understanding. The heart seems elsewhere, only the brain plays the game of conviviality. At social dos, people size each other up in a show of one-upmanship. They don't hesitate to dismiss others as persons of no consequence. The two-way traffic of communication often hits the dead wall of indifference.


It has been seen that at a party, people exude warmth at the spur of the moment. They sometimes go out of their way to stoop to conquer. This creates an ambience of bonhomie, which thickens the atmosphere of togetherness. They flit across the floor of the ballroom and at times, tiptoe to offer a red rose to the partner. It seems to them as if their dreams have come true. Such feelings create enchanting images that fully engross their minds.

To judge others in view of their position in society, while ignoring the basic qualities of the less-privileged, is indeed a miscalculation. The high-ups on the commercial scenario and the big bosses in the administrative set-up are accorded a red-carpet treatment everywhere. It is, of course, the way of the world. But how these persons regard others as fellow beings is the moot question.

They will, indeed, ignore the persons at the lower rung of the ladder and consider them as individuals of no importance. Therein lies the irony of the human situation. To be self-centred is deplorable, but to consider others as lesser mortals is reprehensible. There is something in a human mind that craves for recognition, based on proper pride. A human being is deeply hurt when his pride has been provoked.

The point I am driving home is that we no more care for others as human beings, rather we categorise them according to their status. This is a wrong trend. We should have fellow feelings for others, especially for those who are in distress. To be supercilious is a sin as it indicates the misplaced attitude of superiority over others. In fact, no one is superior as a person since all human feelings and emotions are of the same tenor. Not mere sympathy, but empathy is required when a fellow being succumbs to a calamity.

There is some sort of a parable that indicates a man's haughty demeanour on account of his material gains. It is said that a great conqueror went back to his country as an exalted hero.

There he approached a dervish to seek his blessings. The dervish knew about the atrocities the conqueror had committed against human beings in other countries. The conqueror asked him in a patronising tone, "Tell me what you need, however costly it may be." He replied, "I want nothing but sunshine at this time. So please get aside to let the sunrays fall upon me."