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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Empathy, the panacea for all ills

NS Tasneem, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, January 22, 2014
First Published: 09:19 IST(22/1/2014) | Last Updated: 09:21 IST(22/1/2014)

Haste is the malady from which mankind is suffering at present. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to reach somewhere. Jostling one another is the pastime of people seeking a vantage point. It is not a necessity but a habit to jump the queue. By doing so, a sense of victory overpowers the wrongdoer.

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On the roads, there is a mad rush for overtaking others. The person ahead may be going at a fast speed but the man behind is eager to push him aside. The scooterist is not tolerated if he takes the liberty of overtaking a car. The bus or truck driver cannot brook the insult of meekly following a car. Not that the one is impeding the speed of the other, but it is merely the manifestation of anxiety. Honking mindlessly is the order of the day. Not even accidents have the capacity to change the scheme of things, considered to be predestined. As a result, the idiom 'haste makes waste' has been discarded disdainfully.

It is high time we adopt the time-tested Lucknavi style of giving precedence to others by saying- 'Pehlay aap'. This term endears others while engendering, in the process, mutual respect. In this frame of mind, an individual maintains the balance of his mind that helps him perform his work in a delightful manner. There is no pressure on the nerves, nor is there the hangover of irascible temperament. Youngsters can earn the goodwill of elders by extending a helping hand to them instead of ignoring them.

'Pehlay aap' is the panacea for all ills from which humanity is suffering at present. Heartburn will cease when the awards are not coveted without deserving them. In literary and cultural functions, the tendency to occupy the stage out of turn will be checked, if the honour is bestowed on the basis of merit. Age, of course, is another factor that has to be taken into account while according recognition to the deserving in various fields of human activity.

During the past two or three decades, the younger generation has been at the receiving end for being impatient to grasp every conceivable opportunity to win applause. Not that they should now sit with their fingers crossed, but that they should not run the race against time, losing their peace of mind in the process. The senior citizens, on their part, should not go on expecting preferential treatment all the time. They can themselves help others in a magnanimous manner.

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