Two days back, I visited a unit in my organization which handles all travel related work. They have set up counters to help employees as a lot of people are traveling at any given point in time. When you are a big organization, such things are normal. I went there in the morning. There was already a queue, thankfully not a serpentine one. While I waited for my turn, the people sit in the counter stopped abruptly, apologized for the stopping work and requested us to wait for a couple of minutes. A colleague, working in their unit, had passed away. So all the people working in that floor in that office were gathering in an adjacent conference room to observe two minutes of silence.
The gesture by the rest of the colleague was decent and appropriate. All of us decided waited while they observed silence in the room next to us. The doors to the room were open. The next two minutes was a revelation for me. It was a lesson on how insensitive and indifferent we can be. A group of people are mourning in the next room. Here people are sitting comfortably on the sofa and carrying on a decently loud conversation on cellphone. And it is the same people who were told the reason for the interruption. In my opinion, they could have stepped out for the conversation. This is least they could have done. The one who passed away is also our colleague. Forget about standing. We could have observed two minutes of silence together with the mourners. This is the least we could have done.