Let Us Be Kind
(Vinod Anand)

Take the everyday scenario of a traffic jam in the city. When cars are piled up and tempers run high, two auto-rickshaws coming ‘from different directions practically touch each other.

Each wants to claim right of way and neither wants to budge and relent. That leads to heated arguments and the drivers so easily come to blows. What would happen if both would be prepared to let the other go first? That would immediately defuse the situation and help ease the jam, instead of obstructing traffic for even longer periods.

Today’s world is characterized by a loss of simple civilities. The loss of paradise was not only a loss of innocence but also a loss of the sense of the other being a sister or brother and a loss of basic civilities. Surely the world was meant to be a kinder place. Instead, people snap at each other, customers and shopkeepers talk rudely to each other, few think of apologizing even if they are in the wrong, the privileged treat others with contempt and the poor struggle, often denied human dignity.

The privileges of the powerful, the influential and the wealthy seem to be forever stretchable commodities. Often it becomes all a question of money, money, money. How we speak to others and the way we treat others becomes immaterial. Think, how can I be kind to those I meet today? If each of us would begin in our little sphere, what a difference it would make! There would be so much less stress all around and life would flow more smoothly.

This would however demand from us much more patience. When everybody is in a politeness is in a hurry, it is a sure recipe for frayed tempers even violence. Strangely, politeness is seen as a form of weakness. Actually, it takes great strength to continue to be polite when others treat us with contempt. Many virtues that the modern world considers passé are actually signs of moral strength. So don’t blow it. Be patient and steady.

Life has a way of rewarding those who are kind and *ho treat others kindly. Sometimes, it is the ‘weak’ who show us the way. They are more caring of each other and so better equipped to face life. When little Daksha, the orphan, woke up crying during one of my classes in the orphanage, I was surprised how the others rushed and began patting him on the cheeks, saying “so jao”— “go to sleep”. If only we all shared, the world would be a kinder place:

Nobody expects us to be superhuman in our approach to life. In fact, the kinder we are, the more sensitive we become to the problems of others. Within our limitations we could be kinder to others. Idealism always comes up against a rock.

But still, the good dream lives on. There are those who continue to work quietly and who knows, the little seeds they sow, get nurtured and some day may yield a plentiful harvest. Then it will not be a question of “this is mine” and “that is yours”. After all we are all sisters and brothers on this planet. We are heirs of a great human heritage.

The heritage has survived because women and men were kind and not because they were super-achievers. If we are kind today, that will not only shape our tomorrows but also the future heritage of the human race.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.