There is a village in northern India called Geyima Village that was saved from disaster by one heart of kindness. The land there is harsh and barren. The people live in poverty and the struggle of harvesting enough food is an on-going challenge. The villagers have struggled very hard, yet find it difficult to make ends meet.
Not far from the village is a simple road and the vehicles passing through there frequently met with accidents. There was one notable incident involving a truck loaded with canned edible food. The truck ended up in a ditch and the driver was injured. The driver stopped a car to bring him to a hospital leaving behind the truckload of goods unattended.
The villagers who saw the accident then quietly carried the canned food home. Every household had enough canned food to last for several days. From this incident, the villagers came up with an idea.
As the saying goes: “When you are near the mountain, you rely on the mountain; when you are near the water, you rely on the water; so when you are near the road, you can completely rely on the road!”
The villagers also knew that truck accidents on the road seldom happened. So they came up with a plan. At night, when there was no one on the road, they brought their tools and dug potholes into the road’s surface, thus, creating a higher chance for accidents to occur.
Even if there was no accident, all vehicles using this road would surely have to slow down due to the poor road conditions. Then the villagers would follow the vehicle closely and while the driver was distracted and not paying attention, they would quietly sneak up and take away some of the goods from the truck.
Over time, the villagers become bolder. Initially, they would only steal some food, but then they started to take other goods and bring them to the market to flog for cash. As they continued to get more and more brazen they started to rob trucks in broad daylight without even sneaking behind the vehicles.
The judge handed down a severe sentence, but to no avail
Not long thereafter this part of the road became bandit country and the most unsafe section. Every month, several police reports were being lodged. The police did arrest two villagers for robbery. The two were charged and ended up in court. The judge handed down a severe sentence to the pair.
Despite the heavy penalty, this still did not deter the other villagers who, instead of mending their ways, learned to be more sneaky when committing crimes. They even resorted to engaging people to watch out for them after robbing. They would bring the goods home and hide them or change the packaging to prevent the police from finding any physical evidence.
The local government thought of many ways to try to guide the villagers toward the right path. However, the villagers were not moved and they only thought of their own personal benefits from looting more.
Gradually, truck drivers begin to avoid using this stretch of the road and the villagers had no loot to haul for several days.
One day, a truck loaded with bags of starch passed through that stretch of road. The people in Geyima Village had only a basic education. In their view, all starch was edible and could be made into delicious food. So everyone rushed forward and snatched more than 20 bags of starch.
The truck driver was a young man. When he saw the villagers grabbing his goods, he stopped the truck and chased after the villagers, leaving the merchandise unattended. This gave other people in the village a chance to empty the truck without any hassle.
The young man pleaded with the villagers to return the goods to him. The villagers refused. So the young man told them that the flour is inedible industrial starch; it is poisonous and can cause death if consumed.
The young man was telling the truth, but the villagers did not believe him. For them, there is no difference between it and edible starch, or any other starch in terms of texture and color.
He did not have the heart to watch people die!
The young man wanted to go to the police station to report the matter, but he was worried that after he left, they may consume the starch and kill the people. Even though he knew that he is not responsible for causing any deaths, he did not have the heart to watch people die!
So he knelt down before the villagers and begged them, saying: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t return the goods. I will suffer a little loss but I beg you all, don’t eat that starch. It can kill people.”
The sincerity of the young man moved the villagers but they still had some doubt. So one of them fed their chicken with the starch. The chicken died soon thereafter.
The villagers were horrified, yet at the same time, they were deeply moved. They robbed the young man’s goods, yet the young man did not resent them. If they were poisoned to death by eating the starch, they deserved it. In order to save their lives, the young man knelt down and begged them not to eat the starch. This was deep kindness!
The villagers were very touched. They brought back the sacks of starch and loaded them onto the young man’s truck.
After that, the people of Geyima Village never stole goods again. Even if someone wanted to attack a passing vehicle, someone in the Village would immediately stand up and say: “Think of that kind man. We hurt him, but he saved the entire village. Think about him; do we still have the heart to continue doing these kinds of bad deeds to hurt others? Are we really the devil?”
Since then, the road near Geyima Village has become very peaceful and safe. The police authorities and government guidance failed to produce results and it was the young driver’s sincere heart and kindness that changed everything and averted disaster.
India has been the home of many great civilizations. The villagers have returned to the tried and trusted ancient ways of the Indian people — to be kind, warm, honor family, be friendly, have faith, integrity, hard work, look out for friends and neighbors, and, above all, to be really good-natured.
Translation: Chua BC