Today, a close friend of mine expressed anguish at the following incident.
Yesterday, he learnt of the death of his sister’s father-in-law. He was close to the deceased gentleman and they had spent many moments together solving crosswords and discussing other similar mysteries of life. He went over to his sister’s house and started helping with the arrangements for the funeral – ambulance, priest, death certificate, calling friends and relatives…
Meanwhile, he received phone calls from his workplace and from other persons who had professional things to discuss with him. With each person, he started his conversation by stating that he was in the midst of funeral arrangements of a close relative. Almost all persons, after saying something like, “Oh I see…,” carried on regardless, stating their case and discussing whatever they had called up for.
My friend, being the polite gentleman he is, discussed their case with them.
Subsequently, he expressed his wonder and bewilderment that, apart from one person, no one commiserated with him or showed any sensitivity towards the occasion or his emotions.
We see similar parallels in our life. I too am guilty of the same. I sometimes ask the other person whether it is a good time to talk. But other times, because I need the counterparty’s help or advice, I plough on regardless. I sometimes think that I will not take much time, but lose the sense of time when immersed into the details of my problem.
It may be difficult but do consider that over the last 24 hours, you may have superimposed your will on others, who have been polite enough not to tell you to “take a long jump off a short pier”.