To be empathetic can be such a giant leap of faith for another person, we have a personal incident on the same. Join along, and let us takeaway from this story the ability one individual has to change another’s life.
One day on my way back home from work I saw this driver who was chewing gutka (tobacco) and he spat on the road a couple of times. As a health profession, Volunteer at Tata Memorial Hospital and as someone who knows the effect of gutka and what it does eventually to our health - I try to educate people whenever possible. So, I started explaining about the health and environmental impacts of chewing gutka.
While discussing this, he said "I am chewing gutka because I have been working for the past 24 hours and I wanted to be alert."
That did not deter me from my stand. I told him, "at least think about your family."
"I don't want to talk about it." He replied interrupting my speech.
It was complete silence for 2 minutes and then he started again "I lost my family in a road accident. I don't have anyone. I am just waiting for my death. and I don't care about my health" he concluded.
This was a turning point, it was concerning the things he said! At this point in time, I just wanted to make him feel that he is important. Before I could figure out what to say to him, while we were crossing one of the signals, there was a stray dog that came in really close. As a spontaneous reaction, I yelled "CAREFUL! DON'T HURT THE DOG!"
"No, I will not hurt the dog ma'am," he replied and continued on, talking about the significance of dogs in Sikh culture. He even shared a couple of stories from Guru Granth Sahib. "I feed 20 dogs daily and also support orphan kids," he added.
That gave me an idea, I chose my words carefully. I tried to create a connection between him getting a disease due to gutka, following which those dogs may not survive or the orphan kids will face struggles. I said, "All the people and animals you reach out to, despite your personal pain, are dependent on you. So, it is your responsibility to take good care of yourself, so that you can continue to do good things for them.”
A moment later, my destination arrived, and before I got down, he gave me his contact number and said, "Ma'am, I swear that I will leave this habit. If ever we happen to meet or if I can be of any use
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