A few weeks ago, I chanced upon the 1000 Voices for Compassion event, where the idea was to flood the blogging universe with posts about compassion, kindness, and humanity. I instantly decided to get on board.
And then I read and read and read people’s stories – trying really hard to write something that mattered, and I couldn’t. I spotted none of the kindness, none of the compassion people wrote so warmly about. Every day, I saw cars swoosh past broken down bikes, people shooing away beggars like they were untouchable, women in my building discouraging others from feeding a month-old puppy because they were afraid that he’d start living there. My faith in humanity pretty much died when I saw a biker push an old beggar so hard she fell down just because she touched his knee while asking for help.
Last night, I was thinking about how big a let down the past few weeks had been. I’d been looking for compassion, and found only the lack of it.
Where is the fucking humanity, I asked myself as I hit the brakes a few hundred meters before the signal. I saw several bikers swerving to avoid something on the road, and then passed what they were trying to avoid – an injured cat. Her tail was moving, so I could tell she was alive. I drove past her.
What the fuck. Did I just drive past an injured animal?
Moment of truth, people. Moment of truth.
Then, I decided to do what I had been saying people didn’t do anymore. I waited for the signal to turn green, and then made a U-turn. I drove almost a kilometer to go back to the cat, working logistics out in my head.
I have a carton and an old shirt in the boot, maybe I can wrap the poor thing up and put her in the carton so her blood doesn’t stain my car. Then I’ll call Neha, get the number for animal service, and drop her there.
I should tell Mister I’m not going to be able to make it to the theater. I’m sure he’ll understand. The thought of making the ultimate sacrifice – missing a date with my husband made me feel so much kinder than I was feeling a few minutes earlier!
Carefully, cautiously, I approached the cat. I parked my car a few meters away from her, on the side of the road. I opened the trunk, pulled out the old shirt and the carton, and walked towards the cat.
In my hurry, I neglected to see a Scorpio coming at me at a high speed. He had to brake very hard to avoid hitting me, and his car let out a loud screech as it halted. He leaned out of the window, abused me to his heart’s content. Then he honked and cursed and asked me to get out of his way, but I didn’t budge. I was on a mission. I walked towards the cat, and bent over, my hands shaking, coz the sight of blood makes me woozy.
I bent over to pick it up, and a split second later, I realized it was a scarf I had rescued. A fucking scarf. I laughed for a full two minutes before I finally walked back to my car.
Well, at least I have some humanity left in me.
What is the kindest thing you’ve ever seen people do? Would you go out of your way to help an animal? How about people?