Kindness and Compassion!

Kindness and Compassion! 150 150 ramgi@user

It isn’t always about getting ahead…

This post will resonate with every Indian. Especially people in Bangalore who have to acquire Buddha-like patience in order not to go insane with frustration on the roads of Bangalore…

Yesterday, I was going back home from my office. My driver was driving and I was in the back seat. It was peak traffic time and we were crawling.

The road had a divider. I noticed that about 100 meters ahead, there was a gap in the road and an SUV was trying to take a U turn from the other side and come to this side.

Unfortunately, no car was giving way so that the SUV could complete the U turn. As a result, it was stuck half way into the turn.

This was causing a bottle neck on both sides of the road, because with an SUV stuck perpendicularly, across the divider, half a lane was taken up on both sides. Hence the reason for the extreme slow crawl of traffic, slower than even usual Bangalore traffic.

As I came closer (must have taken a full 5 minutes to cover the 100 metres) I observed an interesting behaviour by the drivers ahead of me.

Typically, each car was keeping about 2 feet gap with the car ahead. But as they neared the ‘stuck’ car, they would close the gap to less than a foot to ensure the SUV wouldn’t nose its way in.

So even if it meant the risk of their own cars bumping into the car ahead was higher, they were all determined not to let the ‘upstart’ SUV sneak in.

My driver, Nagendra, was determined to do exactly that. I saw the distance between my car and the one ahead steadily decrease as we inched closer.

So I leaned forward and told him gently. ‘Nagendra, let the SUV complete the turn. Give space’. Nagendra must have been crestfallen. But he did my bidding.

The SUV driver was also amazed at this act of kindness. Once the fact that Nagendra was giving way struck him, he smiled and nodded at Nagendra and quickly completed the turn.

The cars behind me did what was expected. They viciously honked the horns. In the language of cars, these honks must have been the worst of ‘gaalis’.

The obstructing SUV having moved on, both sides of the road picked up speed. One civil behaviour from us, prompted by kindness and empathy, had eased the way for hundreds of cars to come.

All it took was for one car (mine) to sacrifice about 20 seconds — one car-length worth of time.

This sacrifice saved hundreds of cars substantial time by moving up their speeds. It saved the SUV driver at least 10 minutes.

Compassion and empathy are at the root of civic sense. Teach your children empathy and compassion.

Next time you are in the same situation or at a junction where everyone is trying to shove their noses in without giving way, will you please think of this?

RamG Vallath
Keynote Speaker, Author, and Overall Awesome Dude

#BoundlessWithRamG  – Click here for more!

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