Around 4.00 pm one evening, my colleague and I were driving back to office after a meeting at a customer’s factory. There was a physically challenged gentleman on a scooter with support wheels on either side of the rear wheel (popularly called a ‘handicapped scooter’) about 30 feet ahead of us.
When we stopped at a traffic signal, a schoolboy, looking around 15 years old, approached the physically challenged scooter-driver. It was obvious the boy and the scooter-driver were not known to each other, and the boy was trying to hitch a ride. After a very brief conversation, the scooter-driver removed his crutches from the rear and kept them in the front. He had to twist and turn uncomfortably, but the boy did not even offer to help. He sat on the rear seat as soon as the crutches had been shifted.
Seeing all this, my colleague commented, “Why did he have to trouble the physically challenged guy? He could have hitched a ride from anybody else. He didn’t even offer to move the crutches. Some people can be so insensitive!”
I thought for a minute and replied, “My immediate reaction was the same as yours. But, on second thoughts, I think the boy, probably without realizing it or without intending to, has done a very good thing. He treated the physically-challenged gentleman like he would have treated any other person. In fact, I’m sure the scooter-driver is really happy that the boy treated him as a ‘person’ and not as a ‘physically-challenged person’ like almost everybody else does.”
Would you agree with my colleague’s view or mine? Or do you have another view?