Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Should You Volunteer Help

Hey friends,,, Here I am going to write about my views on HELP,,, which is volunteered in particular.

I still remember the day when I was in the USA for a training program called "Radical Leadership" .  Its a team building and leadership program which talks about practical situations in a family, organisation or a society at large.

But what intrigued me was, they mooted the idea of helping others ONLY WHEN ASKED.  I was a a bit shocked and also irritated initially.  Because this was totally against my nature then and we in India always preach about helping others without asking.... We have great poets and seers saying many things about help....

உடுக்கை இழந்தவன் கை போல ஆங்கன் இடுக்கண் களைவதாம் நட்பு.

காலத்தால் செய்த உதவி ஞாலத்தினும் மானப் பெரிது.

I have grown up reading the above right from school days and almost practiced this until last year ( before my trip to the USA ).

I used to be a center for help / advice for every one and at some point of time, I used to look for people ( mostly relatives and friends ) who need help and volunteer myself with my help and advice........ As you know every one likes help but not advice always.  But I used to offer both and thought to myself I was doing a great job and every one likes me for my quality..... But looking back now,,,,, I was terribly wrong as most of them were looking the same differently.

Some were thinking that I had a big brother attitude.... some were thinking that I was their god father...... Some were thinking that I was not allowing them to grow on their own........ some were thinking that I was arrogant sometimes and worst is some one asked me,,," you are parting with big money just like that,,,, How much you have earned so far and how did you earn that money"

When I start looking at each and every situation where I volunteered,,,,,,  it is not a "feel good" situation.

Yes.... I really had big brother attitude some times... and started dictating things after my help though I never dictated terms for my help.  Those people would definitely have thought I am trying the acquire their life....
Most of the cases where the volunteered help is rejected, I felt hurt ( may be due to my inflated ego )

Yes I was a god father for many in my life.... I always used assume that I am responsible for my team ( my family, relatives, friends group etc etc ) if not the whole world.  When you feel you are responsible for every one,,, there is a trace of arrogance seen.  I have helped many as a god father,,, but again when I look back I could realize that I made many of them as lethargic, made them to take things for granted,,,, and worst of all they did not have the opportunity to face the problems there by did not learn on their own and missed the enjoyment of learning things in a hard way.  Within my mind, I always used to compare myself with a banyan tree...which shelters many.... but the reality is nothing grows under banyan tree which I realized much later after the damage is done.

The so called god fathers ( ofcourse God Mothers also ) inadvertently spoil new ideas / opinions etc by taking the lead and doing things in their own way.

My mother used to say " குளவி கொட்டி கொட்டி தன் நிறத்துக்கு மாற்றிவிடும்"

The biggest danger in this is the youngsters take things for granted... They feel "some one" is there to take care of them always and become lethargic.

During the training session, I could realize all the above.  What I was told in short was  "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS".... I asked the trainer,,,, " Can you apply this in a family situation? "  As a father, it is my duty to help my son and guide him through his younger years.... But the answer was same..." NO ... DONT VOLUNTEER, BUT MONITOR".  My argument was if the child is weak in some area, then as a father I have to take care of that lapse... But what I was told was " dont do care taking , but try to COACH".... Here the coaching means,,, coach them to face the situations... understand the lapses... identify the gaps.... and finally search for resources... You may be one of the resources he is LOOKING FOR.  When He is LOOKING FOR HELP, then, he takes ownership and will be responsible and in the process learns a good lesson.  He learns what he is lacking,  He learns what is to be done to bridge the gap and of course he learns where the resources are available also.

So now does it make sense?  Still you can volunteer,,, for the people who are in real need.  Even if some one is drowning in a pool also shouts "HELP ,, HELP" ...

Coming to the area of "REACTIVE HELPING" from "PROACTIVE HELPING ( volunteered help) , again there is a famous saying in tamil " பாத்திரம் அறிந்து பிச்சை இடு" .

Back home when I was learning Upanishad,,, every thing was explained in very clear words those days itself.

"श्रद्धया देयम"                   SHRADHAYAA DEYAM
अश्रदया अडेयम                ASHRADHAYAA ADEYAM
श्रिया देयम                       SHRIYAA DEYAM
ह्रीया देयम                       HRIYAA DEYAM
भिया देयम                      BHIYAA DEYAM
संविदा देयम                    SAMVIDAA DEYAM

The import of this is as below.

"Help with faith and involvement"
Dont help with out faith and for the sake of helping"
Do help only within your limits ( you may donate based on your income only )
Help people with humbleness... ( Dont show your might when you help )
Help people with respect  ( Dont ever insult while helping )
and the last one is
Help with full information....( understand whether he really needs help and what kind and how much )

Our vedas have shown us the way,,, but some times, we go thousands of miles away abroad to learn it in a different way... OLD MEDICINE IN A NEW CAPSULE.

Do post your comments and HELP me learn... :-)

Gopal

3 comments:

  1. Gud one uncle..goes as u ve said..nw a days...nobdy desrves pro actve help..they decline such help..:) so its better to keep up wid reactive help..:)

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  2. good one.
    but let us take this case,,,... "there is some one who is in need of our help but not approaching us due to some shyness (say). in this case what shud v do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If he really wants help, he will ask

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