As I walked from the office back to my hotel in Mumbai yesterday evening, the faces revealed story after story. Hindus, Muslims, Parsi, and Christian, young and old, stressed and casual, each unique in her/his own way. The impressions from walk left me reflecting over the recurring themes that stood out.
There is more hope than I have seen in the past. Time has taken the edge off the memories of the tragedy from the terrorist bombings. The economic miracle that marked the early part of the last decade has been reality for a generation that is increasingly taking on managerial and leadership roles. Those representing the middle class are larger than it has ever been at any point in time.
People walking the streets are more courteous than I recall. In thirty minutes of walking, I was not pushed, confronted, or accosted. With two exceptions (both older individuals not to be singled out), everyone seemed to be on the alert about others around them. I realize a single walk could be an exception, regardless, it was great to experience.
In every moment, there were examples of individuals depending on others. A man with poor eyesight was being guided by another without fanfare. There casual, almost meditative stroll in the evening rush stood out as two figures in color in a black and white movie. There were couples walking along Marine Drive, friends gathered taking group selfies, and colleagues discussing the issues of the day as they pushed on with life.
In the chaos all around me, I found that I was being embraced by a sense of peace. Hope is alive and with me! I could see and feel it through others. Hope creates an opportunity for us to act differently. I never thought I would tangibly sense it through the actions of others. I did yesterday which sets the stage for today. Depending on others can be good for everyone.
In this spirit, old words are mine; “You’re my God; have mercy on me. I count on you from morning to night.” (Psalm 86.3)