This story is being shared for the #1000 speak, 1000 voices for compassion initiative. This story is based on a real life experience of the author who lives in India.
Compassion, care, kindness all seem to be second nature to us. But that is not always true. Very recently I witness something which will tell you why.
It was a hot summer evening. I was shopping for groceries at a nearby mall. After shopping, I felt thirsty and went into a nearby McDonald’s to have a snack and some ice tea. While waiting for my order to be delivered, I kept myself busy by watching the people sitting around me.
McDonald has been present in the Indian market only for the last few years and there is always a frenzy for eating at MCD, as it is referred to here. I noticed an elderly couple really enjoying their chicken burgers. McDonald’s usually is full of young people here. So my instant thought on seeing the elderly couple was that when they were young, McDonald’s did not exist in India and that they might have read about it in foreign magazines or seen on TV Channels. And now at a post retirement age, they get to enjoy burgers, fries and shakes.
As I settled myself with my ice tea…looking around again, I noticed in a corner table, there was a lady sitting with her two little granddaughters and her daughter / daughter-in-law(I presume). The little girls were busy eating burgers but I was really curious to see two other little girls standing behind their chairs. By their clothes and demeanor it appeared that they were the maid of the children. Yes, the girls who were themselves probably only a few years older than the other kids had been employed to look after the younger kids.
I was so perturbed to see that and the hungry look in their eyes really made me sick in my stomach. They had not been offered any food. The other ladies appeared to be educated but when I looked at them again I just found them to be nasty and without any compassion. Why had they brought those little girls inside the restaurant? Only to humiliate them? Or were they simply happy to play ignorant? I strongly felt like going and asking them but restrained myself.
I now wish that I did not. I thought that it was their personal matter and did not intervene. But it was a perfect example of LIFE IS NOT FAIR. Those of you who live outside of India or have never visited India, it is a fairly common sight here to witness young children being employed for jobs, even as baby sitters. If that is disturbing enough, eating under the nose of such children and not offering them a morsel of food is plain cruel.
Looking back I think I should have done something about it. So I write this post for this blog today, so that the readers of this blog do not ignore kindness and compassion towards others, more so towards the needy, the poor and the KIDS. Help people around you, in the smallest way that you can.
If I could go back in time, I would buy burgers, fries and shakes for those little girls, give it them and watch their smiles as they ate that food. It’s the least I could have done.
This story has been contributed by Sonali Banerjee who also shared “Treasuring Love” with us. We had shared a similar story “The Help” before. This story will make you think if humanity and compassion is slowly becoming a bit extinct.