A video surfaced on my Facebook feed today. An Audi had a minor fender bender with another car. This other car was driven by a man in hurry as he was driving his pregnant wife to the hospital. The lady driving the Audi, took away the keys of the other car and demanded that the driver pay up or suffer the consequences. Cops arrived on the scene and were helpless as they were dealing with a lady and they couldn’t persuade her to give up the keys. It appeared from the video that the lady knew that she was in a position of power and no one could do anything to her. While all of this was going on, the pregnant wife sat in agony in her car. Soon a mob circled the scene as it always does in India. They pressured the Audi driver to give up the keys, shouted at her and threatened her by waving cricket bats. The lady realised that things were no longer in her favour so she threw the keys away in the distance and drove off.
Another incident happened in front of me a few weeks ago. I was returning back home from my ship and i was at the immigration counter at the New Delhi airport. A crew member was travelling with me and he had a connecting flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Trouble was that the flight was from the domestic terminal and we had landed from Singapore at the international terminal. so he had to clear immigration, collect his bags, take a cab to the domestic terminal and then check in again. To make matters worse, we landed half an hour late due to bad weather in Delhi. By the time we joined the massive line at the immigration counter, his flight to Bombay had already started boarding. I told him to cut the line and explain that he was in a hurry or else he would miss his flight back home. He was a bit nervous to do so since he wasn’t particularly fluent in english so i promised to assist him incase any trouble arose. No one said anything but right at the end there was a lady standing there who raised an objection. She spoke in a harsh and a crude tone and I explained to her that the man was going to miss his flight from the domestic terminal and he had to hurry. She refused to listen and said that that’s not her problem and no way in hell would she allow him to get in line in front of her. So I asked the man standing behind her if he could join the line there and he agreed. He stood behind that lady for the next 10 minutes. I don’t know if he made his flight in time or not.
The reason i am writing this today is that this behavioural trend is on the rise. Putting yourself in front and above everyone else. It has become a character trait for the people these days to feel that they are entitled to every thing. They can say anything, they can do anything and anyone who stands in their way is forbidding them from being free. They feel they have the right to do whatever they want and theres nothing the rest of the world can do about it.
Here’s the trouble. I am all for freedom. But you cannot give it to the people. The people dont know how to handle freedom. People need rules and regulations. They need laws. They need to be told to put compassion for others before self love. In the final Batman movie, when Bane handed over Gotham city over to the people, they all turned into savages. They all wanted things they couldn’t ordinarily have and they were ready to turn inhuman for it. Like in the case of the Audi driver, she should’ve been fined for holding up traffic straightaway. Thats the language people understand. People understand fear, they don’t understand freedom. They dont know how to deal with it.
Moving on from laws, there is a moral code amongst us humans. These aren’t rules that have been written down somewhere but we all know them. Like for instance, you offer you subway seat to an elderly person or a disabled person perhaps. Like in the second case, we were all standing in line with no particular hurry. Due to no fault of his own, the crew member found himself in a bit of a situation and needed our help to cut through the line so he could make it home. It is in these times where we have to show our maturity and our moral fibre. It is no secret that the number of people on this planet has far exceeded its acceptable amount. We cannot rely on law enforcement and the governments to sort out everything for us. Thats where a moral code comes in. Fine i bumped your car and it was my mistake, here is my insurance and here is my phone number. Lets settle this on another day, for now lets not hold up traffic. End of discussion. A mature reaction and a solution that works for everyone.
Why is it that people never work towards conflict resolution? Why does it become a matter of ego and revenge? There are billions of people on this planet and there are bound to be conflicts amongst us. It’s normal. But what we can do is deal with these conflicts like human beings and not take our claws out like animals. It is choosing between being sensible and being nonsensical. That matter with the Audi could’ve been cleared up within 5 minutes and in the other case the lady would’ve had to stand in line for another 2-3 minutes but she would’ve helped a fellow human being. But no.
Maybe the world needs dictators to slap some sense into people. Things are getting out of control and people are living with their feet off the ground now. Head among the clouds, posting pictures of themselves every day, in every place, every hour, all the time. This has to stop. A simple solution is start fining people. for everything. Even if you cause a public nuisance. It needs to be done otherwise people will just take advantage of the system.