Essay No. 117:
The Worst Sin Towards Our Fellow Creatures Is Not To Hate Them But To Be Indifferent To Them, That’s The Essence Of Humanity: The quotation means that if we show an attitude of indifference to our fellow beings, that is a great sin. One may dislike a particular person for certain reasons. One cannot love one’s enemy. Hatred for one’s enemy is quite apparent.
It is a part of instinctive behaviours of man. Man despite his conscious efforts can’t help hating his enemy. That is natural. However, the greatest sin on the part of man is to show an attitude of indifference to his fellow beings. To quote Shakespeare ‘It is the unkindest cut of all’.
By ignoring a person, one plays with his self-esteem and dignity. The ignored person feels the pinch of indifference being shown to him in the company of so many other persons. He feels grossly humiliated at the hands of one, who ignores him intentionally. In the company of many, if you are made a special target of indifference, a chill would pass through your spin.
Man whether poor or rich loves self-respect. If that is injured, he is cut to the smallest size. He can’t bear the insult shown to him. For a self-respecting person, it is difficult to disgust affront. It is a problem to put up with contemptuous treatment meted out to a person.
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When self-respect is injured, an individual loses self-esteem, which is a great loss. When a teacher wishes to punish his pupil, he ignores him in the presence of other pupils. That is a great punishment which can shake a person from head to toe.
Hence one should never play with the self-esteem of an individual by showing an attitude of indifference to him. G.B. Shaw rightly points out that ignoring a person deliberately through ignorance is a great crime against humanity. One may hate a person but not make him a target of ignorance or indifference.
If you develop difference with your friend tolerate him rather than punish him with arrows of indifference. One should not inflict this punishment on one’s friends, relatives.