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We have always been taught to be empathetic. and we are trying to teach this to our children too. But there are some experiences, which made you question, Should we teach our Kids to be Honest, Empathetic, Helpful and Caring in these times when people are unable to trust even the most reliable ones?
The other day, I was on my way to home from work. The auto stopped at the red light and I saw an old man selling incense sticks(Aggarbatti). He was very old, weak and fragile, moving from one car to another to sell his stock. When he was coming near to my auto, I was thinking of buying two packets of incense sticks as I remember, I shall be running out of stock in a day or two and I would rush to the grocery store before the Monthly visit to get few.
The more he came near to the auto, the more I could see his face. I imagined how hard he works to earn his livelihood, even at such an old age, he stands under scorching heat every day, many a times running and pleading people to buy something.
I buy incense sticks from the shopping mart every month as I pray daily morning.So I decided to buy from him, being Diwali time I would need more over the puja.
I took 5 packets from him and asked how much to pay. He replied Rs 450/-.
Since, we had already waited for more than three minutes at the red light, the traffic was about to start from our side and I hurriedly paid him without giving a look at the packets he handed over to me.
When we started moving, the auto driver told me that I should have bargained with the old man as he charged very high. I replied to him I am fortunate and thankful to God for giving me a good life and I helped the poor man because I was able to.I did not listen to the auto wallah then as he was telling me that every day such people cheat others by overpricing or low-quality products.He was sounding more agitated and envious so I kept quiet till I reached my destination, being happy to be able to help somebody.
The next day I opened the packet during my morning prayers and I was shocked to see that it was all a box of broken incense sticks. I checked all the boxes and all of them were same. The sticks were all in crushed and crumbled form.
I was very upset, performed my prayers and left for my office. During the whole day, I was feeling hurt because I was really trying to help somebody and what he did to me was cheating.I remembered the smile he gave to me when he sold me the packets and it reminded me of my childhood when my mother used to teach me the importance of helping others whenever we can. But why was I cheated ????It was not only about money but why this happened?
I have many questions in my mind after that incident…..Should I believe in people or not?? Or Should I stop paying attention to this materialistic World where such incidents happen on daily basis??
What and How should l let my children learn to be empathetic when I am shaken up inside to believe people??
Please share your views.