4.16.2009

Guilty

Going to college in the car every once in a while, is one of the privileges I adore having. It's nice going in the comfort instead of battling it out with people for space in the metro. Yesterday, I was on my way to college when at a red light, an old man kept rapping at the windows. Thinking he was a beggar, my driver tried to shoo him off, but he persisted. Finally, we asked what he wanted.

He was a very old man, who couldn't climb into the buses because of his arthritis. He simply wanted a lift to some nearby place, which was probably in our way. But because he would have lost his job, my driver refused. So did I, because I'd been always told to never give a lift to strangers. After we left, I couldn't help but feel really bad about the whole situation. I felt very angry at myself for not showing mercy towards an old man stuck in the terrible heat. But then, my rational side told me that I'd shown common sense and that I really shouldn't give lifts to a stranger. That didn't help coz his face kept coming back to me. It felt so wrong to have the luxury of the car when people were out and struggling. I wondered what threat that old man could possibly have posed. Talking about it with my parents later in the day, they chided me for even thinking about offering him a lift. I should be more concerned about my personal safety after all.

But all of this fails to convince me. I feel it's not wrong to help people when you can. If I don't, I'm simply a hypocrite who judges the world for not helping each other but then do nothing myself.

Signing Out,
Feeling Guilty

4 comments:

Ketan said...

I've been in similar predicaments in the past, and I'd consider two possibilities--how'd I feel if were to know later that I was fooled, or alternately if I were to know that the other person was actually needy. In such cases (say, someone asking for some money) I end up helping taking the risk of hurt ego if fooled over the risk of feeling guilty. But in matters where safety is a concern, I think it's better to be on the safe side. I also feel you did the right thing. The only consolation could be that at least you considered the plight of that person. Guilt, on the whole, is a difficult feeling to counter. TC.

mikkidismom said...

Could have given him 50 bucks for an auto! or made sure he got into one and paid the auto driver the money if you though he would not have taken the auto
...but I agree with your parents that your safety does come first!!!
luv ya

anty_anand said...

Yeah, I was about to do that when the driver decided he's had enough of blocking the traffic.

Love you too!

Ishita_Dasgupta said...

Hmmmm..I totally understand..

Reminds me of one my posts..not a nice situation to be in, I know!!