The other day, dad donated some money, and came home and boasted about it. My mother rebuked him with a ”If you are giving something in the name of God with one hand, you should be so discreet, that even the other hand should not come to know”. (Giving to the poor is equal to giving to God – no doubt a smart belief of major religions to encourage helping the economically backward)
That is all well, I thought to myself. But why do we insist on such pureness of spirit from someone who helps? It’s as if, in the back of our minds, we feel that either the person be a complete angel and be secretive about altruistic behaviour, or if he can’t shut up about it, then he is better of not helping people.
Some people told me that if this is not insisted upon, people will not help in order to help, but to gain fame and to tell everyone how nice they are. So, the spirit of helping is lost. People should only help when they really want to, or let it be.
Now, I had a chapter on Helping behaviour in Social Psy last year, and the reasons we help, according to the author of the book (based on lots of research and studies) are -
1. It feels good to help others.
So basically, its a selfish act. We do it, because we feel good. Like eating or watching porn. Only difference being, it involves other humans.
2. It reduces our negative feelings.
Helping others gives them joy, and gives us a relief from negative emotions.
3. Helping is an accomplishment.
I helped someone, so i’m the cool dude.
Oh, you donated 10k? I will donate 15k. Who is the better helper now, huh?
5. Kin selection theory -
I will help those who maybe related to me, or those, who will benefit the world if they are helped. E.g, save a young woman first in an emergency situation, because she may bear children which helps continuity of mankind.
Ok, so some of these motives are nice, some are not. My mother, for example, would not agree to helping if it were any of those above, except out of the pure goodness of ther person’s heart.
But I feel, that no matter why you help, you certainly are helping. You gave the beggar food, for whatever reason, but the fact remains that you helped him to have a meal. His stomach, as well he himself, will be thankful to you, regardless of what your motives are.
I think its about time we overcome this “either be a noble helper or no helper at all” psyche and accept people who help as well as boast about it. Why shouldn’t they? Isn’t helping an achievement in this world of cut-throat competition, when no one looks kindly at fellow humans?
If they took out the time, money to be kind, they have all right to be proud of this achievement, just like they would of winning a prestigious award.
Further, I also feel that if such people were accepted, many more people than currently do would act in helping, prosocial manner.
Lastly, the argument that, unless done purely, they might help only to show-off, and so it will be a one-time act and not a continuous act of helping. I feel that precisely the opposite is true.
When only you are to experience the joy of giving in privacy, you may experience it twice, maybe thrice. But since you can’t tell other people, your motivation will keep lowering and secret self-joy won’t be enough to push you.
You know, once in awhile this frenzy seizes me. I know I get seized by frenzies quite a lot, but this particular one, its about clearing things out. Making space. Throwing/recycling what you don’t need. And its not just my cupboard I’m talking about.
With the academic year coming to an end, with only the Final exams left, I realized I could do away with rough documents of a large quantity. I don’t know why this is – because I don’t clean often, or cleaning just makes you feel like that – once I was done, and everything was stacked back neatly, I felt like I had a load off my shoulders.
Whatever stuff I could use to make some craft – bits of colourful papers and all that, I’ve kept in a pouch, to be attacked soon. Yesterday, at a stall at Kalaghoda Arts festival, they had a stall that had the most beautiful recycled products, and that has inspired me to be at my eco-friendly best.
The thought which occurred to me after the cleaning, is that quite often, we do not let go of what’s no longer useful. Be it emotional baggage, or keeping in touch with people who either hurt us, or we just don’t feel connected to any more, we need to let go.
There was a joke-book I bought when I was in school, and over these years, I haven’t thrown it away. The jokes are too childish now, and there are many other things to act as mementos of the old school I was in. I finally decided that it had to go. I gave it to my maid, for her daughter, who will begin school soon.
As much as we don’t let go of what isn’t required any more, we also feel that things may and shall continue as they are. But here’s the thing – things change, people change, and so do you! Only, we don’t see the change in us, or if we do, we rationalize that it’s not a major change.
I was seeing an episode of Doctor Who, where he comes across one of his previous companions. They travelled together for some time, but eventually, she was left to leave his life on earth, but the Doctor had to go on. People may change emotionally, mentally even physically. So does that mean its all morose and pointless?
Rather, I think its quite the opposite. When you take things for granted, that’s when it is pointless. When you know that it may end, you enjoy every moment of it. In fact, if you accept this fact, many activities, goals become easier. Weight-loss, for example. If you lose that weight, you need to keep it off. The pact to remain healthy is life-long, with an indulgence once in a while. If you start crazy eating just after you’ve lost your weight, you will gain it back.
Why then, do we not want to accept the constancy of change? Basically, because we’re lazy. Evolution made us so, or God did. We are forever in energy saving mode, so we aren’t spending any. To accept that things won’t remain the same, is a huge task, even cognitively.Just like I didn’t want to clean earlier, when cleaning would have taken less time, lead to a lesser mess. But once done, it makes a thing lot easier. It makes one’s vision clearer. Like that of a neatly stacked and cleaned cupboard.
The smoke that accompanies out celebration
Is not without just fire, but crackers,
Up in the sky for a few shimmering seconds,
We thicken the air around us for days.
We can shut our windows,
To the toxicity,
But where will the creatures
Of the open meadows go?
Helplessly attracted to the light,
They try to, and get inside,
Moths and butterflies,
In large numbers, with less number of choices.
Sitting on my swing,
Or books, or easel, or bed,
They are everywhere,
Like a second coat of paint.
But die they will,
And pretty soon,
And we drove them to it,
Shortened their life to half,
In the name of God.
In the morning when I get up,
My floor covered with these
With a great sigh and resolve,
I arrange for a mass funeral.
Chaos, and then order from chaos can’t get better than this. We are moving to a new place, with one more bedroom, FOR ME! I FINALLY GET A ROOM!
But, anyway, coming back to the point, we have lived in the current apartment for eight years now, and obviously, some connections have been made. The current apartment is a snug little place, in a residential area near a creek. This means that I’ve had the most enjoyable walks, with friends and without. Some days, rain was my companion, some others, music.
The Sky displayed various colours depending on the season, and equipped with a camera phone, I loved clicking away and later tried to capture the enchanting skies on canvas. The environment I am going to miss also includes people.
The folks here are relaxed and unbothered about who does what, and yet they are there for you if you need them. Perfect in away. I have made friends with this Bhukkad who will be my ex-neighbour soon, Dearly Doted Abhishek, jiske ghar roz ka ana jana hai. I shall miss him dearly. :’)
Now, to the more practical matters at hand. Moving is a pain in the ass! The Mum has got me running errands everyday, to buy random things for all the rooms. Thanks to all the bags I carry back from the market, I’ve built some rather flashy muscles.
Lastly, there is a lot to be thought about my new room. I get the smallest room, and I have to fit my painting accessories, easel and all, book case, study table, speakers, cupboard, bed and pet tortoises in it. Oh and the cane jhula too! But I won’t say it is unfair, at least I got a room, and it is enough for my needs, if adjustments are made.
There’s the mum calling again, undoubtedly to order me to buy a dustbin or something. Until later! Hope the next post will be from the new house!
P.s – this is a picture I clicked on one of those walks. For me, they resemble praying hands stretched skywards.
Hey all, instead of sharing my thoughts on this or that, this time, i thought i’d share a poem. This is my best so far, i think. Its untitled. Please tell me what you think of it.
ne of the greatest mysteries of life,
the mystery of Tomorrow.
A rain, or sunshine,
or a simply starlit night sky it would bring.
Hitherto unknown, to this little fellow,
calls himself man.
in search of tomorrow
, a tomorrow that never comes.
To be secure, his aim,
to know the future his desire.
time is nothing,
but an illusion.
Illusion , one of the many.
The more you tread into it,
the more you are pulled in.
O little one.
See it from afar,
coz that is life,
The life of today. t
he life is today.
A beautiful twilight,
a splendid transition
.For one bird is dead,
many are awaken.
Crows are cawing,
this very morning,
A night there,
a morning here
Its just a moment
Over and over till you lose your self in it..
Let go, let go, O little one,
time is but a burden, time is but a solution.
Man, oh man indeed,
See the truth, t
he light of the day,
If you have ever wondered how girls look so pretty and perfect most of the time, think of the time when they said,in almost a whisper, ” i’m going to the ladies room/washroom. Be back in a jiffy!” with a captivating smile.
Thats right. That is the room that i prefer to call the “House of the pretty” . Practically everything, from a touch up, to changing one’s hairdo, to wiping off the Smeared mascara after an emotional moment…or readjusting one’s lipstick after a passionate one [;)] are taken care of , in that humble place.
And that is perhaps the reason why the ladies’ washrooms are all hip and swanky in malls…and guess what? Lately they include a “baby change section” too, where a mother can tend to her baby, change diapers..and so on.
So, in a way, it is the ultimate hotspot for women.
Once i asked a guy friend if their toilet trips were as eventful. He gave me the blankest look possible. In fact when a group of both male and female friends go out, the male counterparts keep wondering why girls have to “take a leak so often” so as to speak. That is before they understand, what really goes on.
But, underlying this phenomena, is a fact that applies to most things. For example,The green room, is the place where artists are themselves, without the masks. Similiarly, for once, women don’t HAVE to look beautiful in a washroom, but can be themselves for a while, and after gaining their presentableness, back into the world of faces.
Also after a lot of shopping, women generally go to the washroom, why ? Well, if they bought a lot of clothes to make them look good, a pretty face is certainly necessary for the complete picture. Why not soothe the ego from now itself, a constant reassurance, that the face is worth the clothes (and the money spent on them) and vice versa.
These observations might not make sense to everyone, but the next time you go to the loo, think if it as the “house of the pretty” and they just might. Happy Relieving !