How do you make this world a better place? Can you help people around you?
A little incident for perspective.
I was eating my ice cream the other day devouring its sumptuous taste and cold chill on my face. It was bliss in the scorching Indian heatwave that has just set in the North. The amazing part of having a sundae is the mix and match of irresistible flavors. Ya, I couldn’t help.
So, it was a regular Saturday, and the sun was beating down with full might as if revenge is the word. Anyway, I had decided to get a sundae from my favorite parlor to beat the heat, even if it’s for a few minutes. A few minutes are like a lifetime with a cold delight.
I took one for myself watching kids playing on the streets while the underprivileged one watched me with desirable eyes. Remember, I went to the parlor in my AC car, and a wallet that is usually worthless but buys me delights nonetheless.
With all the privileges that I am grateful for, imagine these poor kids as sufferers of the wrath of God. Here I am complaining about the unbearable heat sitting pretty in my car while these kids are wearing some rags picked up from some dump or donated by some kind spirit. Their toys are some worn our street tires and stick to roll it or some broken car or doll dumped by us. They are happy, unlike me slurping up the cold delight yet cursing life.
Anyway, back to the kid staring at me. He was anticipating help. His eyes desired to be taken care of. Moreover, the sheer disparity between us shook me. It made me realize how unfair the world can be. It is not comparing me and someone who can afford a private island, but to put things in perspective of how the basic needs for many are a struggle while we crib about our privileged lives.
My heart ached, and my gut wrenched. The only thing that screamed inside was to help. But how?
Can I do anything substantial to make a difference? Will I go about helping every poor kid or person?
The thing is- we can’t help every person, but we can help one. We comfort ourselves and justify our inaction owing to the gravity of the situation. We convince ourselves that we did the right thing whilst ignoring someone’s plight because we can’t go around helping everybody.
Making the world a better place
Does it matter if someone craves a single meal while we indulge in delicacies?
Why should we even care if someone needs a helping hand or even a smile to help lift their spirits?
For ages, thinkers and philosophers have stressed the fact: True happiness comes from helping others.
“Help others, even when you know they won’t be able to help you back.”
Helping others is the beginning of making this world a better place and bettering the lives of many others who need a hand. Also, helping brings about a positive change within oneself by presenting an alternate perspective towards life.
When did you last help someone? And was it without an expectation? We as a society are on a downward spiral in terms of values. Every action of ours is a calculated move to ensure returns. We don’t act out of compassion but transact.
You don’t need a million bucks charity or a mass movement to build credentials. A few things now and then are good enough to make this world a better place.
It can be assisting your family or friends. You can help out some stranger you barely know or help someone in real need. It doesn’t take a lot out of you but completes you as a human. Help but expect nothing in return. The whole idea of creating a ripple is about self-lessness because once you are in it for a return, it becomes transactional and not humane. Yes, you alone won’t change the world, but changing you does the trick.
Remember, if not you who brings a change, then who else?
What’s in it for you?
I can ramble on and on, but what’s the point? Why should we help, support or volunteer? For ages, humankind has survived over support and teamwork. For a man hunting, someone was watching his back and for a soldier daring to take bullets, someone always gave cover fire. Also, we keep hearing stories of good samaritans disguised as angels for the distressed.
So, the big ask. What’s in it for you? Why help when you can easily ignore it?
Helping= Feeling complete
Feels good. Ain’t it? I mean, we don’t do it more often but have you noticed the feeling when you help someone. In a world where acquiring and taking is the norm, a selfless act goes a long way to make you feel complete. Let’s call it “helpers high.” The ecstatic feeling of making a difference in someone’s life is addictive. We are told since early childhood that giving is always better than taking. But why? What is the rationale behind the anecdote?
Isn’t giving directly proportional to facing scarcity. After all, giving something from your own is bound to be reduced.
No, helping others through your little acts of giving augments your personal growth and provides happiness. Even the fMRI technology backs it. Giving activates the same part of the brain that is stimulated by sex and food. Ahem!
Sex, you say. The pleasure derived is the same but in different ways. Helping others is your sure shot way to live a happier, healthier, productive, and more meaningful life. You may not be a Bill Gates or Oprah but then you are also not expected to shell out billions. Keep doing your bit. Your resources and happiness will never feel depleted, although the paradox suggests otherwise.
It’s critical to help others because it helps enrich our lives. Also, we raise the spirits of the people we help. The world vibrates at higher energy. The energy of love and happiness is infectious as it lifts everybody around you. What seems like a trivial act is an effect that creates ripples all around.
Helping= Being part of the change
Understanding the psychology of helping others is a critical aspect. The happiness and satisfaction derived from it have a compounding effect on us. So, your little gestures go a long way to bring about changes. By helping you become part of the change.
It’s an irony we keep cribbing about our unfulfilled lives and lecture others on changing themselves and the surroundings. We curse the governments and people in power for creating the mess. What’s important is to do our bit. Yes, there are bottlenecks, and people in power haven’t been able to justify their positions, but how about doing small things right. What’s stopping you to provide a blanket to a person shivering out cold or a lunch box to some hungry soul? It’s convenient to ignore and move on but to stop, and help is an act that brings about smiles. It brings about positivity and good vibes.
The receiver smiles and feels good.
The helper smiles and feels good.
Our lives are only about focusing on ourselves, our family, and our friends. We are made to believe in this cocoon. Yes, these things are important and make you who you are, but there is a wider perspective to be looked upon. When we reach out to people other than our own, we create a circle of goodwill and higher vibrancy. Also, we tend to feel and learn more, and our reality and perspective shift.
Part of the change is a cyclical reaction.
The receiver is lifted and reaches another level, otherwise not possible.
The giver is satisfied and grateful about the deed.
The onlooker or stranger may reciprocate due to the sheer positivity and vibrant nature of the act.
The world becomes a better place, even if it is for a moment.
And the reaction begins. Hence, the wheel moves.
Note: The kid and I enjoyed a cold delight together. He got something he craved for.
And me, I got perspective.