Journey to becoming a better human being – 10 : Is lack of Giving the root of the problem?

Journey to becoming a better human being – 10 : Is lack of Giving the root of the problem?

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Dr. Parimal Merchant

After the discussion about giving and receiving in the previous meeting, I started observing the world around for these aspects. We were advised to reflect and observe what we had discussed. That would strengthen our learning as well as clarify our doubts.

In a function while chatting with friends, I noticed that the discussion revolved around their concerns about what they eat, what they breathe, what they do for their body, what they buy, what bargains they found and so on. They also talked about their tensions and their stress.

I observed a pattern. It was all about themselves. I shared this in our next meeting.

“Those who only love themselves a lot would also love their problems a lot and soon there will be issues.”

“People are worried about the intake valves. This is logical. The worry is placed on the point of whether what I receive today is more than yesterday. And so on. The point is, what happens with the outlet valves?”

“If there is a blockage in the outlet valves, everything goes in and nothing goes out, I would become internally intoxicated. I could be very fearful of external contamination, but I would be polluting myself internally. I would be washing myself the whole day, but I would be internally filthy.”

“It is certain that as long as the valve of giving stays closed, people will increase their internal tensions. They are going to increase their isolation dangerously. Dislocations will be produced. Bigger and bigger dislocations will be produced because the valve of giving is closed.”

“Such individuals have too much to worry about themselves. A position in which the possibility of real communication with others and genuine concern for others does not appear in the horizon.”

“Despite the explosion of the means of communication, they would feel a lack of communication. Despite the ever-increasing density of people around them, they will feel lonely”.

I was reflecting on all that was discussed thus far. Personally, I too have registered these feelings of internal tensions. I thought it was because of my challenges and personal problems. I had never thought that it had anything to do with my inability to allow an outlet and to care and work for others.  But I wondered when we are running short of time and resources in solving our own problems, when can we think of others?

“We all have our problems. But some live in love with their problems. While some others jump over their problems by placing their intentions outside themselves – by “giving”.

I could relate with what I had read somewhere about being consumer or contributor. That there is nothing wrong in being a consumer but what is detrimental is in remaining a consumer only .It is when it is supplemented with contribution – to others, to society and to the world that it contributes to life.

“Life could be centripetal, where everything goes towards inside or life could be centrifugal, where everything is going towards the outside – it is a question of the direction of the arrow of life, pointed inward or outward.”

I realised that in our society, there was a great element of giving: larger families, ties with relatives, concern for community and in general, helping anyone in need. It is only over last few years that life is changing. Increasingly ‘mind my own business’ is becoming the fashion. But so are the personal tensions and frustrations.

“Our message is based on an existential need of the human being. This is a point of great importance:  selfishness is not useful, giving is of great utility. As long as people do not reinstate that blocked capacity to give, as long as this does not happen, problems will increase.”

I wondered who should be on the front page of newspaper; the one who has accumulated the most or the one who has contributed the most.

Reviewing my scales of priorities, I am moving ahead in my journey to become a better human being.

Continue reading more about Journey to becoming better human being part- 11

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