We the self-righteous?

Need to introspect and reshape our behaviour

WORDS WITHIN

FIRDOUS SYED

 Before Eid our stopgap driver despite my absolute reluctance succeeded in forcing his decision on us to go on leave. Obviously my reluctance was owing to the fact that the absence of a driver will turn me into an errand boy. For a lazy person like me the worst was the thought of distributing Qurban Maz, from one end of the city to another. On the Eid day, kids undertook the task of distribution in the close neighbourhood. However towards the evening we the family of four---me, my wife, son and daughter--- set on the task from our Sanatnagar residence; our first intended stop was Hyderpora.  Less than 100 meters before the Hyderpora flyover we heard a thud. Instantly my heart was in my mouth, I feared another tyre has finally breathed its last. Since the tyres of an 8/9 year old vehicle have overrun more than the expected lifespan, hence are in a depleted condition. The stepney punctured earlier was beyond repair. In the absence of a spare tyre, horror of a vehicle on jacks in the middle of road and I running with a flat tyre in an auto to the nearest puncture repair kiosk was no less than a nightmare.
Some distance away after parking the vehicle, thank God I discovered that all the tyres were still in running condition. Yet, before having a sigh of relief, an angry-man came rushing towards me. He accused me of hitting his car with rear side of my vehicle. It was a bolt from the blue; I was completely unaware of the situation what had happened behind me. I somehow haughtily rejected the claim of any compensation. I pushed keys in the ignition and was about to drive away. The man rushed to the front of the vehicle; he screamed `crush me if you want, I won’t allow you to flee without paying any compensation'. Shaken to the core, I completely lost my cool, what a nonsense kind of person he is, without causing any harm to him why he is obstructing my passage and why should I pay him for nothing, were the thoughts running in my mind. In anger I had lost all the capability to analyse the situation rationally.  I only remembered what I had learned as a teenager. While learning the driving, from our family driver that “a driver is only liable to what happens in the front, he is not responsible for an accident in the rear”; I found myself morally empowered to deny the compensation.  The brawl turned ugly; traffic on the bypass came to a halt, a small crowd assembled around us. I could guess that most of the assembled had made their mind; in their judgement I was bullying the man calming the compensation. It further enraged me, how all of them can accuse a gentleman?
 Amidst the melee two violent young boys in their early twenties appeared from nowhere and almost attacked us. One was thumping the windscreen with his hands and other in rage even tried to pull-away the window of my side. It was really a scary scene, though I was not frightened I was as militant as I could be. Since the boy was holding a stone anything could have happened. Sitting inside the vehicle with all the windows closed, we frantically started thinking of a help. Frustrated I could not decide whom to call? My wife scornfully commented, how come you don’t know any police officer? In my mobile phone there is only one contact number of a police officer--- for me he is a friend rather a senior police officer. Mercifully Imtiaz could send a police mobile well in time. The ASI of police recognising me tactfully worked for a quick compromise, I was asked to pay five hundred as compensation that I obligingly offered. But the compensation was declined rather in good faith; soon we were shaking hands and regretting the making of an ugly scene. 
  Back home, with very heavy heart I reflected upon the disgusting incident. Why such uncivilised behaviour?  There was no readymade answer. Next morning only, I was blessed with an answer, my holier- than-thou attitude was the reason behind my atrocious attitude.  Under a wrong impression that being an upright person I am incapable of causing any harm, even unknowingly; it proved to be my worst undoing. Not even considering the claim; I had reached a hasty conclusion. The pseudo uprightness led me to believe that the other person must be dishonest; therefore his compensation claim was to be rejected as a fraud. May be his claim was right, did I earnestly try to ascertain? Not even once. Probably his claim was false, but did I try to convince the man in any convincing way? No not at all. What a self righteous attitude? It is the source of many of our troubles, particularly when we deem ourselves to be upright. Once again I have let down myself; again I have failed to rise above myself. Can I ever be able to protect myself from the tyranny of Me? Struggle goes on, till then I have a very poor opinion about myself.

(Feedback at firdoussyed@yahoo.com)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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