It was only a few minutes after five and the stampede headed in the direction of the waiting cattle trains, and I don’t say this lightly. It feels that way sometimes. Have you ever seen the way cattle move when they’re being herded? Well, that’s something for you to take note of.

Anyway, I digress. There she was. Standing in the corner, holding the door, one hand outstretched, another clutching a bag close to her person, her eyes seeking recognition in the eyes of any who would dare look.

I felt ashamed, I had no coins to offer. Why is it that I never have any change on me? No one looks at her and I wonder why. Is it because we believe if we don’t look, we won’t see? Perhaps we hope she wouldn’t notice.

Someone grumbled at her to get out of the way. Everyone passes through the door she so obligingly holds open in the hope that she would be rewarded with kindness.

How did she get there? What misfortune came her way that she must beg? Someone else might say that she is up to no good and that she could get a job like everyone else. But what if she can’t? What if life has knocked her down and she’s having a hard time getting up? I know what that feels like.

At what point do we rationalise so much, that we forget the heart that’s beating in all of us? Misfortune need not be the beggar’s fault. If that is so, then we are all at fault when fate takes a swing at us. How many of us have forgotten, in the race to make a living that a little bit of compassion is part of life. As the Dalai Lama has said, “We are so busy making a living, we have forgotten how to live.”

The art of compassion is inherently human. But how is it that we don’t know this? Or have we simply chosen to forget?

© Reshma Mituram and WordCupid 2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reshma Mituram and WordCupid with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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