Sunday, 6 January 2008

It's not like the sky will fall

Swami Gulagulaananda proclaimed:

"A crime is a crime, big or small,
Size determined when done by all"


Have you ever met people who commit mistakes and they say, "Aww chuck it man, nobody will notice" ... Or "Hey, it's ok... Forget it, nothing'll happen"

Ok, or you yourself may think like this some times. When I am talking about these small mistakes, I am referring to the teeny weeny errors like:
  • Jumping signal, driving badly (no indicators, hand signs etc.)
  • Throwing chocolate wrappers, chips packets etc. on the ground as you walk, drive etc. (Littering)
  • Spitting, shouting, talking loudly in restaurants and other public nuisance creation
  • Cutting in lines whilst in queues...
  • Small cheating, like giving 990 ml fuel instead of a litre in bunks...
Aww come on, these are too small - this is what you may think. We have to understand that this problem is small when only YOU are doing it, and it will cease to remain small if everyone thinks the same way. India is a population of a billion. Just imagine if each one of this population does the same thing. If each person throws a chocolate wrapper on the ground each day for a week, we have accumulated a total of 7 billion wrappers on the ground.

Think that's ok? Let's take cost of petrol to be around Rs. 50. By pouring 990 ml instead of 1 litre (Although their cheating proportions are much larger) he saves 50 paise. That's all right? I mean, come on, 50 paise is the price paid for a chocolate (the wrapper of which we throw here and there) Now, if he cheats 100 people per day, where each person asks for say just 5 litres.
Total for a week = 7 * (0.50 * 5) * 100= Rs 1750/-
This is just for one week, and that too we have taken just 100 vehicles and just 5 litres. In a year, at this rate, he makes Rs. 6,38,750 (Nearly six and a half lakh rupees)

And this was just for one petrol bunk. Now you know why people always fight and pay extra money to establish petrol bunks (there's a lot of demand) And here, I have considered 100% pure petrol. As we were made aware in newspapers, many bunk owners save even more money by adding kerosene and other cheaper alternative substances. If each one of us talks in a restaurant, there's no difference between a market a "nice quiet" place to eat. Many restaurants have a bunch of noise makers.

There's always this attitude among people - "It's not like the sky will fall if I do it, so, what's with all this preaching?" If it's an isolated case, maybe it's pardonable. But it's not so. When a child sees his/her father/mother doing something like this - say littering, or any of the above mentioned things, the child will consider it as a green signal - impressionable minds or otherwise, parents are considered to be the people from whom we learn most of our values. Oir role models, seniors, adults and everyone else do this... and the "legacy" is continued by their children and thus the problem continues to prevail.

To sum up, each one of us should stop committing these mistakes - and automatically when others see you are not doing it, they may feel ashamed to do so (If they don't, you have the moral right to ask them to...) and slowly we can eliminate the problem. The bottom line though is that no error is too small to just let go without an apology and rectification...

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