As consumers today, we expect everything to be available on demand. TV shows, electronic gadgets, smartphones, iPhones, movies, books, food, shopping, position, wealth, popularity, and relationships. And more often than not, we place our faith in the economy, in our financial situations, in our health, in our employment status, politics, marital status, and our relationships.
Life is so impersonal. The time in which we live perpetuates, and sometimes encourages a cold, indifferent attitude to people we do not know. Our high-tech environment has been a blessing and a curse. We have fast and efficient data at our disposal, yet we often shun human contact and human issues. Due to the isolation encouraged by conveniences of technology, we begin to treat people as interferences instead of assets.
Prima facie, it may appear to be a trivial and unimportant issue but it holds quite strongly in my memory. A couple of years ago, I came to India from the US on a work assignment. I was taking a flight from Nagpur to Mumbai on Jet Airways. While waiting in queue to check in for my flight, I noticed a girl behind me who appeared to be very worried, anxious and distraught. I could see she was visibly upset and I offered her to go ahead of me in the queue in order to seek immediate assistance. From my observation, it seemed the ticketing personnel were unable to assist her in her immediate need to get to her destination. The issue appeared to be one surrounding payment for a ticket as they were not accepting cash, only credit cards. Since I overheard the exchange, I approached her for further details concerning her dilemma.
She was desperately trying to get a flight back to Hyderabad as she had to immediately return to her job at Dell. She had come to Nagpur to visit her father who had fallen ill from a minor heart stroke the previous month and she had family obligations that required her attention as a daughter, and now she was trying to get back to the responsibilities of her employment. Her Human Resources department has already communicated of joining the job immediately. We have all experienced being in a tight spot before, not knowing which way to turn, and it is a very frustrating predicament in which to find oneself.
I came up with a potential solution. I told her I would call my travel agent and see if there was any way I could arrange a plane ticket for her. Luckily, the agent was kind enough to book her on a flight to Hyderabad that very evening with the last ticket that was available. She gave me the money and said, “I am elated and grateful and thank you so much.”
We can learn a lot from one another. We need people to care for one another, to help each other and not see someone as just a name or number on social media or a database. We all have different cultures, backgrounds and stories.
It felt good to be able to assist this person in her time of need. We must think of how we would feel in the same position, hoping for some sort of solution to come along in a desperate time. I also believe that by helping her, she was receiving a sort of acknowledgement that she had done the right thing by being with her father when he was ill, and receiving help from a stranger was a form of confirmation that she had been doing something right! Good deeds do not go unnoticed!