Friday, March 27, 2009

Shed tears for the living than the dead

There was a colleague of mine who passed through very bad time. His mother was very sick and hospitalized. His son had a scooter accident and lost his leg and the job. His daughter whom he had given in marriage to a good man was sent back wanting more dowries. This man was in utter financial straits. He was drawing only one third of his salary as the rest were deducted against loans taken. He sought the help of many friends and relatives. None would come to his rescue. The worry and sheer helplessness killed him with a massive heart attack. On the funeral day the entire office had gathered. All his relatives were there to console his wife and his many children.They eulogized his great qualities and recalled their closeness to him shedding profuse tears for his sudden demise. When the fellow was alive, I remember people avoided him lest he asked for some financial help. A little bit of sympathy and help while alive would have enabled him to tide over the temporary difficulties and helped him live. Instead they snuffed out his life through cruel indifference and denial. It was easier to pay lip sympathy after his death than help when it was needed most. What use is sympathy after death while total unconcern to his plight ruled when he lived? It is a tendency that many of us are prone to. How many old and infirm people are kept in want while living by their children but their obsequies done in pomp and style shedding unreal tears when dead?
Look at the number of posthumous awards. They are nothing but delayed recognition for service and valour.There was a poet in Tamilnadu Subramanya Bharathi. He was a fervent nationalist and freedom fighter. He ignited the people against the foreign oppression and social iniquities through his soul stirring poems. He died in penury, a fugitive from his own state. It was only after his death name and fame came his way. His poems were recognized and he was honoured in many ways.
There is a moral in all these. It is always good to help and recognize the need for help when a man is alive than cry after his death. Help should be given in time even if it is slightly inconvenient by sacrificing one’s wants to some extent. A Good Samaritan would rush to rescue regardless of personal hardships. I have witnessed on many occasions the poor daily wage earner giving alms however small it might be to the sick beggars than the rich who walk past them with scorn and contempt. Life spent for the needy others is a life well lived. Let the tears be spent for the living by alleviating their sufferings instead of storing them for the dead. Let compassion rule our hearts to extend help to the needy when living instead of sympathy when dead that serves them no purpose. Let the good deeds be appreciated and recognized then and there instead of building memorials after they depart from the world.


  1. Beautifully conveyed message of understanding and appreciating before it is, perhaps, too late.

  2. very true.. we have to appreciate when the person is alive than when he is dead.

  3. very very true...I myself have seen people treating their parents miserably...they never give them what they desire...mostly the food they like...but after their death during poojas, they put padaiyal of all they had asked...and they themselves eat shamelessly!

    Really sad!