Sympathy hurts, at times!

Sympathy hurts, at times!

A Tamil flick, which hit silver screens sometime back, had this scintillating scene that seized my attention. The protagonist, looking at the resplendent-feathered rare birds, remaining trapped in wrought-iron cages, requests his associate to release them.

The associate asserts, “We are actually protecting these pretty birds from falling prey to their predators, besides perpetually providing them with plenty of food grains for their permanent life sustenance.”  

On hearing this, the protagonist chides, “Your sympathy seems to be more torturous than the threat of death to these tiny creatures. Grant them the freedom and let them decide whether to live or die!”

This reminds me of an ineradicable incident. Years ago, at my neighbour’s place, the patriarchal head’s seventieth birthday was being celebrated, which had swarms of relatives, thronging at his place. Suddenly, a young relative, shaking his hand with the elderly man, gushed, “I really feel bad for oldies like you, who are on the last rung of the human-age ladder. All you have is to look back in life, unlike us, who have so many exciting things to look forward to.”

As the seemingly sympathy-laden words were piercing the person as poisonous arrows, yet another youngster, after giving him a rib-crunching hug, cooed, “Whenever I am persecuted by problems, professional or personal, I shall come seeking your suggestions. I want to simply cash in on your precious and priceless knowledge, gained by years of your experience in everything.”

Needless to say, the spirit-elevating words brought the 1,000 W smile on the old person, expunging the earlier gloom that had enveloped all around his face. Apparently, most people – whether a delicate young child, or a doddering old man; a physically challenged being, or a mentally-battered person; simply detest being sympathised by anyone.

So, even if we feel the sympathy towards someone, it’s better to keep it concealed and not revealed. Moreover, instead of shallow sympathy, if at all we are able to understand the physical/mental state of the person concerned, and interact in the manner that is comforting/beneficial to them, it’d do them lot more good. If we don’t have this understanding, it’s time we sympathised ourselves! 

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