of compassion

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?

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Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

73 thoughts on “of compassion”

  1. Animal, I don’t know.
    Kindest thing that I remember now –
    two people pulling up an elder citizen, when he fell down in the bus, as the bus driver rammed the brake.
    A police man running at break neck speed towards a car that has turned upside down.

    BTW can the above be called kindness ??

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I actually have many, many stories of kindness. Personally, I have experienced great kindness from strangers as I am prone to having serious falls where knees scraped, ankle more than likely sprained although recently I broke my foot. Strangers pick me up and help patch me up. They have been beautiful and genuinely caring.
    In terms of the greatest compassion I have seen is friends of mine who do foster care or have adopted children through fostering. I’ve heard stories of caring for very, very sick babies born addicted to heroin and have needed very intensive care and love. They end up sending photos, school reports etc to birth families and keep track of access visits. All with love. My son’s friend recently met his natural father for the first time after his adoptive parents persisted for years to build a bridge etc. Once they met, they clicked. That was a life changing experience for that boy who could have spent a lifetime feeling rejected by his Dad.
    We all have to keep up the fight!!
    Here’s alink to my post: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/compassion-fatigue-a-light-bulb-moment/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Rowena, it sounds like you live in a completely different world! I am generally wary of strangers – they’re not always very nice, and if they look like they need help, more often than not it’s a trap.

      I loved your post, btw. And so, so sorry for responding so late!


  3. Lol. That was hilarious. I don’t know whether *could* do that for an animal. More so because every time I see some accident like that, its already dead.

    That being said, once my mom picked up a sparrow who fell in our backyard. An eagle was chasing it probably. And the neighbourhood cat was already drooling. We put the sparrow in a cardboard box on some cotton cloth and water is a small bowl. Sadly, it didn’t even make through one night. At least, it could die peacefully, away from that cat. But then, it made me think “did I lack compassion towards the cat? They don’t get meat so easily in a completely vegetarian neighbourhood you know! And the sparrow was already half dead when it fell.” I really am confused about the incident.

    Some kindness I think I do is that I give lift to old people on the way to my office. There is a temple on my way and a lot of oldies come out for the morning darshan. They need a lift because auto fares are rocketing. They always thank me and smile that huge smile! I think thats kind of me (not being modest at all 😛 )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Think about it this way – once dead, the sparrow would still be food for the cat, but at least you gave her a chance to get better and saved her from a violent death!

      I think it would come naturally to me, too, to rescue the bird. She’s dying, and the cat is still better off if she (or he) gets food to eat. Maybe it’s because I’m just so hard-wired to help the underdog. 🙂

      And what you’re doing for the oldies is actually really kind. I know people who wouldn’t do that (and at this point I’m wondering why I’m still friends with them).

      Also, really sorry I missed responding to your comment on this – not sure what happened!


      1. Hey there! Looking that I am replying after a long time too, the last line wasn’t needed at all! 😛 Have not been able to do justice to the blog at all and hence, keeping away from it! Miss it though..

        Hope you are well and doing good! Little one on the way? 🙂


  4. Animal, I’m not sure…People , yes surely but again not unless I’m convinced it’s not a trap…I know it sounds skeptical and maybe I am…The kindest thing I have seen people do is feed a couple who seemed lost and penniless in the scorching May sun… When you respect the old, it says a lot about you ..and that somehow touched me as one of the most compassionate acts

    Random Thoughts Naba..Why No One Talks About Compassion Anymore?….


  5. When the crank came off my bike, I had just enough time to wonder, well, what do I do now? before someone stopped and repaired it with the socket set he had in his boot.

    When I found a dead cat, a man stopped and said he would knock at the doors round about, to see if anyone knew whose it was.


    1. How wonderful, Clare. It’s great to experience kindness from other people.

      A long time ago, I got lost on my way back from school, and an old man offered to help.
      The “don’t talk to strangers” warning came to mind instantly, and I assumed that he had ulterior motives, so I said no, thanks, and went on my way. I preferred to be lost than to accept kindness from a stranger.

      I can very easily be kind, but I still can’t accept kindness without my share of suspicion.


  6. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    No matter if it were a scarf or injured animal, you know that your heart is true. It does seem that no one cares anymore. Perhaps this song will resonate with you.

    BTW, I like your new background. 😀


  7. I was at the movies sometime last year and we ended up buying a combo pack of popcorn and coke and no one wanted the coke. The nicest thing I did, quite possibly all of last year was take that extra untouched cup of coke out with me and walk to a tiny poor kid on the street. His parents had one of those road side food vehicles. They sold idlis. The kid had probably never tasted coke. I offered the entire thing to him. He hesitated a little, but his mother gave him a nod. signalling that it was okay to take the coke. He took it with a sheepish grin. and I walked away feeling like one of those compassionate and kind heroines from Indian cinema. And that isn’t really going out of my way to help someone. It was just something we should be naturally used to doing. But it wasn’t.
    And it’s the thought that counts, doesn’t matter if it turned out to be a scarf.
    I also recently saw two kids, couldn’t be much older than 10 or 12, doing some really kind things, and they weren’t even making an effort, just being themselves. But that story is a whole blog post on it’s own. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Acts of kindness are best when they’re coming from someone being themselves, you know. That guarantees that they will always carry on down that path of selflessness.
      And children often teach us the true meaning of compassion, don’t they.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A honest post on compassion. People become ruthless in the rush of life and this is no excuse not to be kind to fellow human beings. We need to stop and reflect on our life, I feel. I also freak out when I see blood and once, I felt dizzy. Love the last line, all for a scarf.


    1. “People become ruthless in the rush of life and this is no excuse not to be kind to fellow human beings.”
      So true. In our rat race, we forget that even if we’re winning we’re still rats unless we stop and look at the scenery. Then we’re observant rats.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. he he he he 🙂 well at least it made you laugh and laughter is the bet medicine.

    I have lived all my life in india and probably had got used the to the ways of the world out there, I came to uk and now after a few years of living here I went back home only to Realise how bad we were , I was horrified thinking was I like that .

    At least coming here has brought one change in me and i am thankful to god for that .. The scarf incident well i had an almost similar episode only to be treated with a lot of honking and Choicest Gaali’s on the GT Road , because I stopped my car in the middle of the road for something i thought was ALIVE..

    SO No i have vowed not to drive in india 🙂 it is a nightmare

    I am not sure if it is compassion or what but if we the humans start to treat others the way we want ourself to be treated this world will be a much beautiful place for sure ..


  10. Almost a month back,there was a new born kitten in our society. It appeared to be injured. Two kids,around 7-8 years old noticed it and barricaded the entire area with bricks so that no one drives over her. After almost half an hour,they got their chairs and sat opposite to the kitten looking at her all this while. While the parents wanted them to come home ,the kids stayed there until one of the adults finally took care of the kitten. She is now old enough and has made the society her home too.


      1. Yes. In a matter of two hours,they learnt what they had been taught years ago!
        I think,we realise that to survive in this world,we have to go against what virtues we were taught as children. Sometimes for the family and sometimes,to keep up the reputation. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sure the scarf and the scarf’s family were grateful for your kindness, your compassion. Plus, you didn’t get blood in your car or miss a hot date with your husband. Win fuggin win! Love how you took me on this ride. Well done!


  12. I laughed SO HARD at how this story ended. And then I read it out to Husby, who laughed too, and sent it to Beth, who laughed THREE, and I LOVE this. You are an incredibly good storyteller. I admire you for putting all the feels in there, about being on a mission, and feeling more noble for having given up something you want to do, in order to rescue the scarf.

    And wow… *giggling again*

    My challenge to you then, BE the compassion you want to see in your neighbourhood. Start inspiring the slackers 🙂


  13. Lol 😛 That’s a good gesture. Bravo.

    But you should have been more careful. If that Scorpio had hit you, he might have gone to jail and you would have been in trouble too. I don’t see a reason to blame the Scorpio guy cos hit and run is a big shit, and I would personally not want to be a party of it, any day.

    Lately I was in India and I didn’t have an Indian sim card while I was travelling. I chose not to buy a sim card for few days, and I was allowed a call when I was really in need by the locals. Not once they hesitated and I asked 3 people for help. Glad to see some humanity left in people.


  14. Now that is funny that it was a scarf. There are all kinds of people those who ignore humans in accident on road and leave and those who even rescue a cat 🙂
    coming from #1000speak 🙂


    1. It is because of the general lack of kindness that small kindnesses stand out, isn’t it?
      It is why #1000Speak is so precious!
      Would love to read your compassion story if you decide to leave a link here 🙂


  15. LOL you surprised me with that ending. With the blood I don’t know how I could have even made that u-turn and definitely not close enough to see that it was a scarf. Cute story, glad you weren’t hurt in the process.


  16. We got a dog from the animal shelter – turns out that she was highly abused by the previous owner… and is now happy, peaceful and loved in her new home, with us 🙂
    That was a hilarious ending btw 😉


    1. Nice of you to adopt instead of buying a dog. Trust me, you get loads of blessings from your dog on a daily basis. I wish more people would do this. Sugar, the dog Mister and I have now, was also adopted. She was found tied to the side of the highway as a one month old pup. Cannot believe people are so mean to animals!
      Glad you liked the end (though this is so not the end!)


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