An elderly man and a youngster were waiting for the bus. It was a long
wait and both were impatient to reach their destinations. Finally the
bus arrived jampacked. It seemed that there was place for only one
more person to squeeze in. The young man thought to himself, "I am
busy. The old man is hardly likely to have anything important to do.
So I should take the bus first." At the same time, the old man
thought, "I am old. The youth has the stamina to wait longer. So I
should get in first." They both edged to the front and as the bus
stopped, they began jostling one another. In the middle of their
argument, the bust left and they were left behind.
In the course of their altercation, the young man said, "Who
do you think I am! I am the son of Mr. Lalchand, the rice merchant. My
car broke down today and my father had already left by then. There is
an auto-rickshaw strike today. So I was forced to take a bus. It is
ill luck that I had to meet someone like you!" As soon as the old
heard these worlds, his scowl faded and in its place emerged a broad
smile. He said, "Then you must be Harish! I am so glad to see you.
What a small world it is! I am Hirachand, your father's uncle. Back in
our village, we are so proud of your father for making it big in
Delhi." The minute Harish heard there words he immediately apologized
to Hirachand. The old man brushed aside the apology graciously.
When the next bus came, the story was delightfully
different! The Hirachand said, "Get in. You are already late. I will
take the next bus! Harish replied, "No, uncle. It is hot today. You
must be tired. You take the bus. I will get into the next one!"
*In the above story, initially the old man and the youth
were mutually hostile. What happened to change the situation? Nothing
actually happened in terms of a physical event. When they realized
that they were related, both of them experienced a sense of identity,
a feeling of oneness.
The same two people in the same situation underwent a tangible change
in attitude. Each was willing to give up his chance to board the bus
for the sake of the other. Each one felt that the other was "his so-
and-so" and this realization alone was enough to change a hostile
situation to a friendly, loving one! The feeling of oneness lightens
many problems and soothes many a ruffled feather in human relations.*
* In our lives too, we miss out on joy friendship and love
because we do not give ourselves a chance to feel for others as we
would for ourselves and our families. We forgive ourselves very easily
for our faults or for those of our families, but how critical and
unforgiving we are when
it comes to others' faults! What makes the difference? It is lack of
oneness with others that is born of a narrow vision of life.*
* To love others, to see them in ourselves and to feel for
their joys and sorrows as we would our own gives a sense of oneness.
It gives us the ability to enjoy the happiness of others and work to
alleviate their suffering. This is the first step towards a life of
true beauty and