I used to help people when they asked for help or give them things they needed – when they needed it – expecting them to reciprocate similarly when I needed help. And when they didn’t – it made me miserable. I could just not get over with it for days. I felt like being used or taken for a ride. Felt stupid and what not. It caused me a lot of mental agony.
And then one day about a year ago – sitting alone at the EME Temple here (I go there quite often. Mostly on weekdays, during lunch hour!!! When there’s absolutely nobody there except for a couple of Guards. Just me and the silence) – where I go when I want to introspect or may be just be by myself, I thought about this whole giving/helping people. I am not a good writer and so I am going to spare you guys of the description of the thoughts that raced through my mind then but this is what I came up with:
You want to help somebody or give away things to somebody, do it and be done with it. End of story. Do it only for the satisfaction you derive out of it. Do it for the Joy of giving you feel. Do it for that priceless expression you see on the faces of people you’ve just helped. Do it for the glitter that you see in their eyes. Do it for that most honest ‘Thank you’ of gratitude you’d hear from them . You expect people to reciprocate and when they don’t you’re only negating the satisfaction and the happiness that act of helping brought to you. You can’t do this to yourself. Why should a noble act bring agony to the doer?
I also made up my mind that I will never – ever – remind anybody of the favours I did to them, for then its basically making them realize their indebtedness towards you, which is really the same thing as expecting them to reciprocate. I’d rather keep my mouth shut and stop helping them in future, than help them today only to remind them about it in future.
Does this make sense to you guys? Let me know your thoughts.