One of the earliest lessons I learnt from my grandfather was “never let the left hand know when the right hand is helping someone”. Golden words spoken by an infinitely wise man. Feel humbled that God has given you an opportunity to come to aid for someone in need, he said.
Pick up the wounded bird and tend to it, till it flies out again. A few morsels to the rabid dog would prevent it from harming someone whilst in search for food. Provide the little child who is studying under the street lamp, sitting on the pavement, with a few books and pencils.
Just a smile to that elderly woman who sits by the windows as busy time passes by, might light up a few minutes of her day. Such opportunities are endless. It helps us to build a cohesive environment; relationships that bind men and nature in a beautiful balance.
But strangely, we find today that this balance is destroyed and the notion of humility has gone topsy turvy. We give, ensuring we are noticed, and the receiver accepts with head downcast. What we never realise that the one receiving is always grateful and hence bows out of respect. At present however, and sadly so, humiliation is added over on to the recipient. The “giver” is glorified so extensively, it is irksome.
Self-centred, scared and insecure
When did all this go wrong? When did humanity lose itself in the rush of things? Noble thoughts, honesty, respect, adjustment, consideration have all become mere words in the dictionary. We have forgotten that we are a whole.
Instead we have holed ourselves in small bubbles and we refuse to look beyond. This has tended us to become more self-centred, scared and insecure.
Whether at home or outside, our relationships are all tangled up. We seem to have developed a very businesslike attitude with everyone. It is always give and take. Our humanity is being overtaken by a robotic mentality. It is as if switches that are invisible to the naked eye keep clicking on and off. We forget that we are capable of much more than we let ourselves be. Sadly, we expect “thank you” for every little thing. Are we making the mistake of clothing everything by “politeness”?
So what if someone doesn’t use the words “thank you”? Is he or she less thankful? Do we feel less blessed? What we fail to realise is that relationships get built in every act of ours — weather good or bad — depends on how we act.
A relationship takes years of nurturing to build. It is built on mistakes, sacrifices, forgiveness, untold words and also love and happiness. We have to be patient and let it grow — for once it blooms, there is nothing more beautiful. But yes, patience is of essence.
Pointing out of mistakes
A very troubled attitude that has surfaced in our generation leaves us in pain. Spouses, instead of letting the love grow, get impatient and then arises pointing out of mistakes, charting out duties, abusing, letting each other down and ultimately drifting apart. What we need to realise is no one is perfect.
We all make mistakes. But our relationship should be such that we tide over them, we understand each other, we smile and let the other know that a mistake doesn’t matter. It is the togetherness that counts. We can live in so much peace and happiness and this leads the intensity of feelings to strengthen.
Another occurrence that is heard commonly and regrettably so, is when parents, in their anger, often let the child know what they have done for the kid, the sacrifices they made, et cetera et cetera. One question — have we ever heard our parents say this to us? As we grew up, we realised the sacrifices they made, so many of their dreams unfulfilled so that we get the best.
This is what creates a strong relation. We are ever so humbled that we try to make them as happy as we can. But if the children are forever shown what we are doing for them we get a give and take business deal.
And believe me in the grey misty days we would regret. But we still have time.
Let us redeem our mistakes and strengthen our relations; happiness would know no bounds.
Mamata Bandyopadhyay is a homemaker based in Dubai.