The race of moving ahead
Is it only us Or is the whole world like this We do seem to have a problem following instructions If we see a Do Not Park sign, the inner rebel in us goes Sure, park here And if it was not for the threat of our gaadi being towed away, all our cars, big, small and huge would have been right there, just under the nose of the warning signboard Do Not Litter, No Overtaking, Childre
Is it only us? Or is the whole world like this? We do seem to have a problem following instructions. If we see a ‘Do Not Park’ sign, the inner rebel in us goes – ‘Sure, park here’. And if it was not for the threat of our ‘gaadi’ being towed away, all our cars, big, small and huge – would have been right there, just under the nose of the warning signboard. ‘Do Not Litter’, ‘No Overtaking’, ‘Children Not Allowed’, ‘Photography Not Allowed’ – and more such ‘No’ signs are only meant to be ignored. Or so it would seem.
If you need to catch a flight, especially an early one at that and if it is a big city like Hyderabad – you come to the airport two hours ahead, and if it is a fog-ridden city like Delhi, sit through the delay in flight take off, wait for your turn in the long queues, and finally are on board and hang on there until you reach your destination. And, this entire time-lapse suddenly dawns upon us when the flight hits the tarmac of our destination. And even before the warning signs are off, despite the lady on the mic shouting/announcing that people should remain seated and not to remove seat belts, a flurry happens.
The flight has not even stopped completely, and we hear multiple clicks of the seat belt unfastening and before the air hostess even gets to her mic; we have people standing up and reaching for their luggage. They cannot be left behind to wait their turn to get down, you see! They need to be out there in the front, ahead of everyone else. It’s as if those few moments if wasted, are worth an eternity. And, all this hurry, to what end? To speak the truth - in air travel terms - you only end up a few minutes before others at the conveyor belt watching everyone else’s bag going by except your own. And you only manage to get out, when you get to.
You see almost the same kind of impatience before reaching busy junctions and traffic signals, where acrobatics of all kinds are on display. People try to out-do each other, zoom past, bend backwards, and forward, to move ahead, only to be caught helplessly in a traffic jam, many times, contributing their bit to it. Someone, once, told me. This whole habit of Indians to move past the others by hook or crook goes back to our upbringing. Can’t help but reflect upon the underlying truth to the statement.
We are taught from the day we were born; aim to reach ahead. ‘The Race Begins’ and intensifies when we reach school. And in this race of moving ahead and to be the first one to reach our destination, we end up becoming insensitive, rude and in the worst case, unscrupulous in our methods. The desire to be successful and best in our craft is confused with the desire to leave everyone else behind.
There is a thin and a distinct line of difference between both. And the making of a better human being surely depends on understanding this difference and deciding on which side of the line you would like to be. And it all starts in a queue, where you follow instructions and wait for your turn.