“SAHEB UTNA HI LENGE JITNA BANTA HAI, USSE EK RUPIYA ZYAADA NAHI”
We as Indians are proud and often boast of our hereditary qualities, separating us from those who are not. One such asset is our ability to haggle with those who have spent their lives in inferiority. Surely there are many who seek to take advantage of this ever-widening economic separation, but Authenticity is still present in our society. And a living example of the same was Bala Ram.
I came across Bala Ram on a hot sunny day in June. The capital is known for its scorching summers, and on such an occasion, the need for an auto outweighed any price he could’ve quoted. And so, without having any discussion at all, I asked the man to take me to my destination. Psychological egoism is derived from a belief that all humans are motivated by self-interest, even in what seem like acts of altruism. Multiple contributors to modern psychology like Jeremy Bentham and Herbert Spencer have argued that human behavior is motivated and governed by pleasure and more specifically, an egoist goal for self-survival. Concurrently, there are more givers than takers to support the statement.
On reaching my destination, I requested Bala to wait and take me back, as I would’ve finished my work in merely 15 minutes. He agreed to do the same. After finishing my work and reaching back, I decided to finally ask him on how much the fare would be. To my astonishment, the price he cited was half the amount I had expected and was much used to. Initially, I didn’t ask why. But the thought was persistent, and so I inquired as to why he named such a low price for a journey which deserved much more, or at least was made to believe so.
He had the most simplest of reasons for his act. Even though he had spent his adulthood being an auto driver, he had managed to keep his wife and children happy and well-fed. “I trust god, not a god of religion, but an external force which is above us all. My children have never been sick, and will grow up to become learned and capable adults. And that is what my faith is about” he concluded. People like Bala Ram are here to remind us that altruism and selflessness have not gone away, even when surrounded by wicked and malevolent minds.