I was recently travelling back home when an elderly person boarded the vehicle and started talking about his personal miseries, ill health and how he is a father to some 2 ladies. He also mentioned his dearth of monetary resources.
While asking for help, he held out his cap in his hand. A cap. Which is often seen as a symbol of respect and dignity.
What must have befallen this person to openly talk about his misery, ask for alms and even hold out his respect to others? Even knowing the fact that they may as well disrespect the dignity he is putting forth. What must have befallen him to not think about running into an acquaintance or someone recognizing him? Or the cold he must have felt while uncovering and displaying his injuries.
What could it be? What kind of misery? What sorrow? Test?
We all come across posts trying to make us realise how blessed we are. How we should not whine because someone is deprived. How we should be content and satisfied and how the presence of such deprived souls should make us live humble.
But sometimes I wonder why do we want to stop our growth because someone is not so well to do? Why can’t we grow and instead of being upset and pitiful, help these people up too? Why can’t we work so as to benefit them as well?
Giving them a share of our earning doesn’t help. They remain dependent. Showing sympathy and being pitiful does not help either. Our getting content with whatever we have doesn’t matter. because in all this, the question of their betterment remains unanswered.
What is it that we should do, as a collective society, to improve the condition humanity is in? What way leads us to a blissful garden?
But before we find answer to such questions we have an obstacle to tackle.
When do we erase the boundaries and consider all humans one?
Everyone looked down upon them. All they could get was pity. But did they really deserve pity? Could they, in some other perspective be better than us? Was there something more to their life that we could not see? Or were we unable to comprehend their life?
All we could see was their poverty, the physical labour they did, the injuries they suffered, their slit hands, bare feet. But had they been well off who would have done these jobs? Who would come to clean our rooms and cook in our homes? They were the base of a social pyramid we all occupy at different levels. Without them, their help where could we be? Probably doing what they do. How could a building stand without a base?
The other side, I assume, is spiritual. Since they do not own a thing they shall not be asked. They do not have questions waiting for them. They would not be asked for any log. Or what they did to the resources provided. All they have is barely sufficient to meet their needs. Nobody is asked about things they require for survival. Further they probably never sin. Maybe they never find time to. They are so busy earning their bread that right and wrong has no significance. Probably it did not exist for them. Maybe they were too humble to harm someone. Or maybe their sufferings nullified it. How else can they be so pure at heart? Why else would God hear from them and not from us?
Many times God did not hear/respond to even them. Maybe he wanted to test their loyalty, “Would they change their God if I don’t respond?” “Would they whine for all this suffering? This pain?” Maybe God wanted them to be stronger. They still have so much to go through. They had so much more to endure.
But in other school of thought, did God not love them? Probably more than us. Why else shall He clean them of their sins even before they repent? Why else shall God be so generous to them? Why else would He care so much? Why shall He provide resources otherwise?
Though they suffer here, they shall have pleasure in paradise! They shall have all we enjoyed here.
Pity was not for their suffering. It was for us. We had eyes for their pain but no hands to help.