An old story goes A person heard about free will, and he really liked to enjoy it. He strolled outside, rotating his walking stick. The passersby were frightened of any harm and avoided coming into its radius. His courage grew, and he walked to the nearest bus stop, continuing his act. A wise man accosted him, warding himself off from getting hit by the stick, and asked, "Why are you doing such a stupid act? It may harm someone." The man with the stick replied, "Didn’t you know about free will? It is a fundamental right. Everyone is free to do what they wish to." And I am using my fundamental right." The wise man replied, "Indeed, you are free to do what you feel like, but your freedom ends at the threshold of my nose. If I get hit by your stick, I will use my fundamental right to punish you."
The story might be simple, but it has a deep sense of responsibility for society and its citizens. How often have you wondered if your little acts of etiquette and manners can make a great difference in society? Perhaps some of us are ignorant enough to pay heed to these trifles. These things have cascading effects. A proven adage prevails: You won’t believe or act until it happens to you.
Think of a moment when you are hurried for void excrement and come across that the lavatory is defiled. Imagine the moments of frustration and agony you face. Similarly, what would be your reaction to a social place filled with litter or people spitting across the walls? Undoubtedly, that turns you off and also maligns beauty. However, all these incidents are acts of undue advantage of a fundamental right or free will. Let me narrate a story to make it clear to you. The incident is associated with none other than our veteran businessman, Ratan Tata.
Once, Mr. Tata was visiting one of the production plants of the TATA Group. Meanwhile, he wished to use the lavatory. He approached and was astonished for a while. There were two lavatories adjacent to each other with the signage "For The Officials" and "For The Staff." After finishing the routine, he inspected the staff lavatory. To his surprise, the official lavatory was neat and clean, whereas the staff one was filthy and odorous. The reason was obvious and simple too since the number of officials was lower in comparison to staff. Besides, regular cleaning and maintenance are also done in the official lavatories but are avoided in the case of staff. Mr. Tata told the officials to interchange the signage of both lavatories, and such a practice should be done very often.
This small act of etiquette and mannerism advocates the law of fundamental rights. However, some preoccupied minds fail to understand the difference and interpret it wrongly. Until you keep believing that someone else has the responsibility to maintain the cleanliness, how much difference does it make, or why should I bother? Questions will keep popping up. We must understand that no fundamental right comes without fundamental duties. In a similar fashion, one cannot claim to use free will or a fundamental right alone without contributing to social welfare or taking social responsibility.
The difference is clear, but the interpretation has blurred. We all need to understand one thing: "We cannot do all the things, but we can all do at least one thing." Let us pledge to make our surroundings neat and clean, and let us understand our social responsibility to make this world a better place to live. Blaming the government or shrugging off responsibility only deprives you of being a responsible citizen.