Reaching out

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The world has contracted….the world is one….no differences now…..Is all this really true? Well, maybe in some sense, maybe not in the other. Let me tell you why? Recently while on my evening walk I saw a person walking very slowly, shoulders bent and sporting a continuous frown – he seemed visibly troubled and I just wanted to put a hand on his shoulder and find out if all was well, but something stopped me from doing it ….what was that – I kept thinking for several days and later realized that I did not do so because it is not a culturally accepted norm in my country. Trivial questions like – will he like it? Will he take the gesture as an intrusion of his privacy? Who am I to ask him or be concerned for him? Will I be spurned and told to mind my own business – dominated me. On reasoning with myself some more, I found all those questions unreasonable because I wanted to do that just as a fellow human being. I felt that it may have helped him. I feel that way because of an incident that happened with me a few weeks back while I was on a holiday. I broke my spectacles and urgently needed a pair so I just walked into the first optician I saw for a new one. I was trying frames one after the other and finally zeroed on to two that I liked – to decide on one was the most difficult part. At that moment I heard a voice from behind me saying “the white one…” with a smile. A little startled I turned back to notice a sixty something foreigner giving that advice to me. I smiled back, and said “thank you” in return and went ahead and purchased the white frame. I was happy that someone just made things easier for me. He didn’t know me but he did not think twice before suggesting me and his words did actually help me. Now I know that the next time I feel like reaching out to someone I do not know, I will go ahead and ‘just do it’ like Nike says and the culture will have to follow me.

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