Have a Big Heart
Some tiny incidents, though seemingly simple and insignificant can make us overjoyed and even capable of changing the whole philosophy of our personal life. Something similar happened recently. If my memory is correct five or six months ago, there was a private bus strike and I was a direct victim of it as a regular user of public transport.
I can still remember the importance of the day. I had a compulsory research workshop at the university but unfortunately our private vehicle was at the garage to be repaired so there was no option for me but to use either a CTB bus or a taxi. Determined to go to university however, I stepped towards the junction, amidst a lot of discouragement by some of my neighbours who were returning home after being completely angered by this sudden bus strike. Though I ignored them, those verbal discouragements were fully justified as soon as I reached the bus stop there were more than a hundred people around the bus stop waiting for a bus to go to Colombo and adjacent destinations. The only hope and the positive sign there I perceived was amidst the crowd there was a friend of mine with a pleasing smile accompanied by the same determination to go to university.
Soon we started chatting about the situation and about a possible method of reaching the university. Several CTB buses appeared and, proving the maxim ‘survival of the fittest’, the fittest and the fastest males and some of the females within the crowd were successful in finding places in those buses that were overcrowded and about to burst, leaving the feeble like us disappointed, helpless and hopeless!
A few seconds later, quite unexpectedly, a lady appeared and said that if we are willing, she can take us with her in her car, while inquiring about our destination. Fortunately, both destinations were similar and inside the car a school child sat having his breakfast, so we felt that it was safe. We reached university, safe and sound!
One might argue that our decision was dangerous and risky since there are people who fish in troubled waters but for me the act was pure humanity! It is a task of believing in a completely unknown person. We simply trusted her and she trusted us, which is the meaning of humanity. She had a compassionate heart or in simpler terms ‘a big heart’! Sometimes we prefer massive scale almsgivings or donations with loud-speakers but ignore silent acts like this. True volunteers appear in such situations and true volunteerism is nothing but being an empathetic human being with a big heart!
This column was first published in iVolunteer/SundayTimes Sri Lanka (2014)