Sunday, 6 May 2012

Should We Give Others Space While Walking Together?

We were discusing about an observation, which might have occurred to many of you: People walking side by side, hand in hands, hand on shoulders, in the groups of three, four or more people in narrow passages, making it absolutely impossible for others to pass before they are asked and they take a lot of time to give way.

I have observed it, not just in big cities, but also in narrow pasages, in cafeterias, in school/college galleries; I observe it on a day to day basis at my workplace, in shopping malls, in cinema halls. But I never actually discussed about it with anyone because:

1. I feel that I am too sensitive and that is why it bothers only me.
2. It seems to be almost a norm with every person in the groups I have been too; I have even insisted to not to form such walls for others and to walk only two persons together at max, but it does not get support from others in my group usually as they don't seem to care much about others not getting passage or space.

This is where I feel that though people might be attached to each other and walk side by side, they should be sensitive enough to respect space of others and they should give passage to others, whenever needed.

Usually 'we don't care about space of others' as an atitude comes to my mind whenever I observe it. It's not that only young people indulge in such behavior, or anything is wrong with it if there is ample of space around you. I have observed some parents walking with their kids hand in their hand, a group of three, or sometimes four people. In such cases, you could say that there is no 'arrogance' thing involved, but more of affection, care and bonding; it's really hard to let your spouse and young kid go ahead, in a crowded place, because fear of their getting lost or getting hurt is present. That makes me think--it's many a times problem of space. We humans have very little of space left at many public places and reasons vary. At some places things were not planned carefully and we have overpopulated them.

What annoys most is: Lack of sensitivity for others. The internal dialogue which is ever on-going in our heads is projected onto others because of lack of awareness. Creating noises which don't let others study or sleep, not giving others passage to pass, throwing garbage here and there on your whim( common in India), scribbling on walls of public/workplace toilets(Such scribblers are certainly not mathematical geniuses like John Nash, because all they leave is, phone number and their girlfriend's name!), is all because of lack of sensitivity in my opinion. 

Group protection is involved as an element because for most of those involved in such groups, sensitivity for space and comfort of others is lowest of priorities and a sense of belonging to the group and being on top of the things matters most. The persons who form such walls on passages are the very same persons who think that it's not necessary to return something they borrowed until the owner asks for it many times. 

I am more inclined to think that individual freedom should be respected in all situations unless it is hazardous for any of the stakeholders. Some all sweeping zealots in schools, colleges, offices, churches, temples and in other places of worship, in social gatherings and in excurisons for fun assume that just because a person belongs to the group or frequents the place, he should, with all his might, contribute in group activities and comply with group activities, because an idea that individuation, even in most public of places or most social of gatherings might contribute to betterment for someone, never crosses their mind.

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