Convenience first?

I was travelling in a bus earlier today. I had boarded the bus from the bus stand, and the conductor came to me first for collecting the ticket fare. When I gave him a five-rupee coin, he asked me if I had a 50-paise coin for change. The bus had gained speed by then, and I was standing. Also, I had kept my wallet back in my pocket. I instinctively replied that I didn’t. The bus was crowded and the conductor was in a hurry to collect fares. He said he didn’t have any change and told me to produce 50 paise. I reluctantly took out my wallet and did find a 50 paise coin in it. The conductor was amused and exclaimed loudly-“See, he had a 50 paise coin and was just lying because he wasn’t willing to make an effort to see whether he had one!” I felt embarrassed, naturally.

The conductor moved on, but I couldn’t forget the incident immediately. When I thought about it, what the conductor had said was perfectly true. I had been unwilling to make an effort to see whether I did have a 50 paise coin with me. But I wasn’t deliberately lying despite knowing that I had change with me, or anything like that. It was an automatic, instinctive response, which took no effort. I guess there is a part of us which is lazy and unwilling to make any effort.

We must overcome this force to become better human beings. I learnt a lesson(more like a reminder) from the incident. When we seek our own convenience, we should ensure that it doesn’t stand in the path of others. This incident might seem insignificant, perhaps not even worth mentioning, but it was a lesson for me, nevertheless. Life presents us with innumerable opportunities to learn, if only we pay attention to them.

2 thoughts on “Convenience first?

  1. I don’t wholly agree. The same is true of the conductor as well. His driving force is to collect as much change as possible, than part with a few coins. He is least bothered about the convenience of the passengers, and I would not want to pay money to a bus which treats its passengers in a shabby way. There is a certain self-resepect eveyone carries and I am not going to allow anyone question me according to their whims and fancies.

    1. Reading this post over three and a half years after I wrote it, I realise my outlook has changed a lot! In fact, I agree with what you are saying. 🙂

      Thinking about the change within me a bit deeper, I think I used to hold very tightly to certain ideals of how things should be, and especially over the last year and a half I have come to terms with how things are. That’s not saying that I don’t hold any ideals these days, but I’ve learnt to hold them lightly. As a result I’m not torn apart by inner conflict all the time. It’s been liberating and has also enabled me to examine my ideals and align them better with the reality.

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