It was said that for a gift of kindness to reach out to others one has to come out of the self-love first.
Feeling empathy and pain of others was not alien to me. I had always jumped to give my share with generosity, or so I believe.
I always stood by the side of the weak, chose my words with great respect, for creating awareness through my writings: by taking the side of the highly unprivileged people of the society.
Yet what I completely lacked was a cause or a leadership, an incentive so to say. When I listened to the stories of those few lucky ones, who had made all the difference. It incurred to me how short and little my effort was. A mere parade of words and an empty slogan of justice. A lame effort that felt short.
For a moment I wished I could help the families who were struggling. Who had lost the bread earners of the family by a sudden onset of disease. A pandemic that had left the whole world shaken and almost spellbound by a magical change of events.
Is it not a lesson that when the developed, learned, enlightened and the most scientifically profound world thinks that it has seen everything. There is always a reminder in every century, a reality check, a mock, a dilemma and a state of extreme helplessness despite such prosperity and abundance.
Pandemic has shaken the root and the shoots of an evergreen human existence. It was this reason when I had the desire to crack the shell of my ego and do a collective help to make a difference.
The desire was deep and it’s waves kept hitting the stubborn rocks on my shores. Yet silence there was after every storm, a commitment, a willingness and then only dull futile shells of self-glory.
It was difficult, to reach out to my loving friends and family. To convey my message with responsibility, to create awareness, to give a wake-up call to a communal detached slumber and immediately talk of generosity. To encourage them to give away what is in excess, to think big, to create space both in the heart and the brain, to talk, to argue and if lucky to win over.
After the most challenging display of conflicting yet consistent waves and muffled, indifferent silence I somehow gathered the courage of a swimmer to jump into the cold waters of the deep river.
Every passion needs a hammer to strike an order to stop the vain talk and conclude in a meaningful way. That is exactly what I did. I made a prayer to help others whichever way I could, with a firm faith of being judged on my struggles and not results, my fingers danced on this new music of self-discovery. I wrote facts, about the pressures of time, the need for extra help, the change it can bring and the importance of the collateral effort to give back when we could.
Suddenly I was surrounded by a feeling of shame. If a charity work could belittle, I realised how low and down will the one in financial need feel. Almost over-burdened, avoided by every blessed person who could make a difference. To relieve my self of this pain I made a prayer yet again, to never be tested for myself, and always have the means and the heart to share.
By sheer luck, my first humble, inexperienced and not too refined cry to contribute reached very generous hearts. My stammering campaign yielded more than I harvested.
Humbly I made an intention to do best I could to reach out to all those that needed a share from this yield. I prayed yet again, to be capable of this extra responsibility and to deliver the trust everyone had put upon me.
This part of the journey opened my eyes in many ways. The more I knew about the state of others, the more my heart cried for the excessive pride it held for not opening up before. God had kept me in a blessed state and I could have done a lot if only I had given more heed to others.
Amidst all the process of getting to know people, I realised how I had been in the delusion that everyone lived happily ever after. How tactfully the extremely needy people had given an illusion of all was well, when nothing exactly was as close to normal as it should be.
The prayers I received from those people, who never complained, who kept their dignity intact, who never asked for charity, yet were the most deserving ones. Their tears, their wishes, their relief gave me a sense of achievement, a true spiritual gift, a deep connection, understanding and a feeling of belonging.
I realised that a charity begins at home, for that one needs communication, understanding and insight on what worries others.
Some contribution was spent on getting monthly ration for some families, some ladies opened small shops to sell goods in the neighbourhood and start a small business. Quite a few needed medical care, medication, while a bedridden needed a physiotherapist to make her come out of the bed. I realised how some very old widows were taking long perilous journey all alone, to distant places to collect a very small amount of pension. The amount we spend for one take away meal.
Altogether it was a financial burden: a continuous struggle. That made their practical thinking numb during crises of a pandemic.
My humble kindness was perhaps to contribute myself, then to come out of my shell and give a shout out loud to help those who needed us most in my homeland.
Helping humanity brought back fulfilment…
More power to kindness all around. I yet again mustered up the courage to write back to all my generous contributors and relate to them the tears they had wiped and smiles they had brought.
I wish during this crisis we could all think outside the box and be more kind to others.
Who knows kindness could be the only elixir corona is not resistant to.