Kindness Daily: The Traffic Warden’s Toes

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The Traffic Warden’s Toes June 12, 2012 – Posted by sethi
I was recently on a working trip to Mumbai. One evening I took an autorickshaw home from work. It was around 6 p.m. and there was heavy rush hour traffic. Because of this the rickshaw was traveling at a snail’s pace.

I was lost in my own thoughts, thinking about the day’s events, when a Mumbai police traffic warden materialized as if from nowhere. He ran alongside the rickshaw and slapped the driver three times, quite violently, across his face.

I was shocked by this sudden turn of events! I asked the driver to take the rickshaw to one side of the street and stop. I asked if he was hurt and he said his eyes were sore because of the slap. Other than that, he said, he was fine.

I asked what had happened. He said that, by mistake, he had run over the traffic wardens shoes. I told him he should have stopped and apologized. But, at the same time, I knew that the driver did not deserve getting beaten up like that!

So, I asked the driver to accompany me to the spot where the traffic warden was directing the traffic.

Then I called the traffic warden to one side and in a gentle voice told him that the rickshaw driver accepted his mistake and wanted to apologize for it. The warden, who was all set to react again when he saw the driver, calmed down on hearing my words and the tone of my voice. The driver accepted his mistake but started complaining loudly that he did not deserve to get beaten up.

The heated discussion began to attract a crowd. Some of them were other rickshaw drivers who were taking the side of their fellow worker. Sensing that matters might quickly spin out of control I calmly told the traffic warden to accept the apology of the rickshaw driver and let bygones be bygones.

Fortunately good sense prevailed and the traffic warden accepted the apology of the rickshaw driver. Then the voice within said, "Please bring about a true reconciliation between them."

I listened to the inner voice and persuaded both of them to shake hands, which they did and they parted as friends.

We went back to the rickshaw and proceeded to my destination. As I finished paying the fare he said in a soft voice, "Sahib, thank you for what you have done."

Hearing those words I knew I had a made a difference in somebody’s life. I thanked God for the support He gave me!

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