It was still red in the signal and suddenly I hear the repeated honking sounds of cars and vehicles behind me. First I was wondering what was it all about. Later the vehicles behind & side all started adjusting in random directions in a fraction of minute including mine. Finally I realized the presence of an ambulance with siren and critical patient inside rushing to save the life of an unknown person in this world.
I was wondering who all would have adjusted the vehicle to leave way for the ambulance. I am sure in the crowd few would have been by nature belligerent, inflexible, ferocious and others would have been moderate to extreme of such characters. I can think even if there was a terrorist in the crowd he would have adjusted his vehicle to leave the way for the unknown critical ambulance.
Every day we hear lots of news about all the negatives, enmity, hostility, wars, murders, theft, wrangles etc. across the world .Most of the times all these happen with known circle of people, friends, relatives, neighbor nations etc.
My mind raised a question what makes the same human be empathetic to an unknown human in the ambulance, which forces them to be flexible and empathetic . What makes the same human be so cruel on the other side?
I was able to dig four broad reasons for this empathetic behavior of humans.
1. There was an alarm (siren) rose by the ambulance carrier that it’s critical, which is communicated to the people and society around.
2. Natural tendency to save someone or be empathetic to someone at life critical stage.
3. Group mentality that we are forced to do (move), rather be empathetic when all around are empathetic.
4. Negative reinforcement or public perception of others if we don’t move or be empathetic.
Now I thought of applying the same in real life environment and see why people don’t exhibit the same empathy in other situations.
The critical sirens in other fellow humans (Criticality need not be life threat alone) are not being communicated to others in an impactful manner. Most of the times there are emotional criticality which also needs siren, which has to be addressed by the society and people around immediately. More often people don’t communicate this to others, or there are barriers to communicate created by ego, self –worth etc. It actually demands maturity to read and hear this unheard siren in the fellow humans and respond accordingly. Most of the times we fail to read and hear the siren in others which could be as critical as the ambulance. Either we act indifferent or block the way without responding to it in appropriate time or we react aggressively which only leads to catastrophe.
In my view every human has the innate nature natural tendency to care, love and be empathetic for fellow humans like the ambulance incident but doesn’t have the maturity to read and listen to the unknown, unheard sirens of the others.
We should not forget that every human has a siren running within most of the times, when we encounter them in our life. The ability to discern it from him or her by all the cues is the first step towards establishing maturity and thereby reinforcing humanity.
I always knew this world has significantly more proportion of defined positives when compared to cruelty or defined negatives. But what we are exposed to is 99% of the times are negatives, insecurity which innately builds a lack of trust. I always wondered if all the news channels 99% of times identified all the good things happening and projected and amplified it how the world would be. I am sure when we continuously see good things and focus around the world we tend to build a strong trust in the people and society around.
I have been reading and listening a lot about our (Tamil – Dravidian) culture where ancient houses, built in those days had Thinnai (a small portion in front of house for public commuters to rest) where the casual travelers can rest at the night time. Not only that, people or family in the house would wait everyday till a particular cut-off time to see if any commuters come for food and only in the absence of any the final left food is consumed by the family .
More than culture it demonstrates the “TRUST” the society had on each other. They trusted that the commuter will not do any harm to the people and belongings of the family. I am relating this to today public transportation when a co-passenger joins next to us first we try to ensure our wallet is safely fixed.
In my view, the world is still beautiful out there .We see this unity at calamities or danger. The only thing we missed is the ability to read and listen to everyday silent siren in other humans of the society.
The next time we encounter a human, let’s remember “He or she may have a silent siren within”.
Our maturity and wisdom should decipher it and respond accordingly to make the world a beautiful place.
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