Why to hold ourselves back?
Why to hold ourselves back?
Recently there was a small debate on whether we should intervene when people behave irresponsible in public, or should we mind our own business and hold ourselves back. These are three incidents from the last three months when I couldn't hold myself back.
To reach the Elephanta Caves from Mumbai, we need to catch a boat from the Gateway of India. It is one hour's ride. I was on board one such time, when I noticed a guy finish a bottle of drinking water. He was about to throw the bottle in the sea, when I intervened and asked him not to throw it in the sea, as it made the sea unclean. He was with 4-5 friends of his, and they were in jovial mood. But he obeyed and interestingly fixed the bottle in the ceiling of the boat! After some time, one of his friends brought a bottle of cold drink and asked him to finish it. He finished it, and before I could even think of intervening, he suddenly threw it far away in the sea!
Though we worship trees and rivers, in our practical lives, we care least about our environment. I could have sat back, and enjoyed the wind; but I intervened. Shouldn't there be some societal pressure on us when we behave irresponsible in public?
I was waiting for my bus. It was a green street in Thane, and there were young trees planted within protective fences. A boy of around 12 came and started picking leaves of a young Ashoka tree. He was making a stack from the collected leaves, for playing. I reached him and asked him not to cause harm to the tree, as it will die without its leaves. He didn't understand me; I think language was the problem. Then I asked him that if he wanted leaves, I could give him plenty. I raised my hand and broke a bigger and greener branch from the big tree above. I gave that branch to the boy and asked him to play with this and leave the young tree. But he shrugged me off, and said he wanted that Ashoka tree only. My bus arrived, and I left in pain, as the boy continued breaking the leaves of the Ashoka tree.
If everyone holds himself / herself back, how would the new generation understand, what is correct and what is not?
I was waiting for my train at Patna railway station. There was one seat vacant on the bench I was sitting on, so when an old couple arrived, the man offered the seat to his wife. After some time, I noticed a splash of water on the floor. Then the old lady asked her husband to go fill up the empty bottle. How could she throw water on the floor like this! I tried to control myself, as I respected her age. But I couldn't. I asked the lady, whether she had deliberately thrown water on the floor. She said that it happened by mistake. If the case were otherwise, I would have given her a lecture.
I couldn't hold me back.
Many times in my daily life, I have hold myself back; due to many reasons. I can remember one such incident.
Patna to Motihari by road took only four hours this time, thanks to the four-lane highway being constructed. Almost all the buses run movies on the TV aboard. Earlier, we used to enjoy at lease two complete movies. This time, when we were 15 minutes before Motihari, we noticed that the sound of the TV had become very less. It was a movie of Akshay Kumar, in which he had struggled throughout his life, being a police officer, to catch the murderer of his father (So typical Bolywood). The climax had arrived, but the TV was mute! One man shouted at the conductor to increase the volume. He didn't obey. After a few minutes, one more man asked the conductor to increase the volume. This time, the conductor replied that the TV was about to be shut off. Then the driver shut the TV off! This time, there were no protests. We all knew that the conductor and driver had been non-sense; but no one protested further. I too hold myself back. It was 15 minutes of quite journey afterwards before we reached our destinations, still wondering what happened to Akshay Kumar.
We hold ourselves back mainly not to get into any trouble. But imagine a situation where everyone holds himself back. Do we need to break our molds at times? Do we need to be unreasonable at times? GB Shaw shows the way:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to him. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Mumbai, July 15, 2007