Extending an Aiding Hand

No drowning man can know which drop of water his last breath did stop. No one who ever lived and believed that he doesn’t need help has been proven right. Help is something we all need. Help is something we all expect, yet abstain from providing some.

Why do people refrain from helping others? When sometimes all you need to do is to be there, provide a listening ear, or lend a shoulder? The problem is we often mistake the term ‘help’ with the materialistic expectation of giving and taking things. It’s the prospect of losing a prized item – however temporarily – that puts off any humanitarian and natural tendency of the person to lend help. I’ve been often asked, “Why do you never say no to someone who needs help, even if they often run you over later?” My answer is simple. I say, “Have you ever been in a situation where you desperately need help, and there’s no one to aid you? I’ve experienced that. The sheer helplessness, the uselessness and an apologetic numbness that grips you – I try not to heap that on someone if I can help it.”

It’s true, people do very often run you over after their need for support is exhausted. Over the years I have been run over and realised people have been run over too. Many seem to think that’s how the vicious cycle of help goes. Yet when I look back at the people who have genuinely appreciated my help, I realise that contrary to what I’ve expected, I’ve come out richer than I was before. In most cases I’ve made a good friend, a valuable acquaintance. Help should not be done to gain an upper hand on someone, or to reach a moral high ground. Help is not a countable thing, naming them as favours ruins the entire essence of your deeds. The most effective of help, is often to be a listening ear to a weeping friend at two in the morning who is expected to lose a loved one soon. Or even to be a companion in the long, lonely wait someone has to do. Or to maybe just share a few words and make a person believe again in a dream, in an ambition. Because it’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life exciting and worth living.

Help cannot, and should not be measured by numbers as in a profit and loss statement. Nor should it be done in a way that doesn’t satisfy you or leave you questioning your decision. Because help done which leaves afterthoughts, is a weight on both the receiver and the doer.


I am hereby including a self help method as I had hinted, a method that I devised myself which helped me find a direction in my sidetracked life. It goes as,

STEP I: Take two pages of paper. On one, write down any and every activity that you enjoy. Be it music, watching movies, reading or anything. Even the smallest pleasures should be noted. The bigger this list, the better. Take your time. If possible, note every activity in your monotone that you enjoy and list it down.

STEP II: Then, on the other, list the few major subsets which you need to choose from – be it choice of career, fields of investment, etc.

STEP III: Attach these two papers side by side on your wall, and read them twice a day when you are at peace with yourself. You’ll be able to link your pleasures to some of the subsets. As time goes by, try to eliminate some pleasures which do not influence your subsets directly or as importantly as you want. Do not hurry, let your brain do the mapping first and then eliminate your choices. The time required will be different for different subsets and different people.

As you cut down your pleasures, you’ll see that some of your subset choices are also looking low. Cut those as well.

At the end, you’ll be left with only a few pleasures and one subset. THAT is your preferred option. This exercise not only gives you an idea of what you want to do, but also a way of how to do it. I understand, that this simple exercise is nothing but organising your daily deeds. I strongly believe, that the answer to most dilemmas lie in your day to day schedule as in what you prefer to do over something else. This method may NOT give you absolute clarity on what step you must take next, but it gives you a foothold on what you could always do to be happy, if your adventure or experiment doesn’t work out. Whatever way you use it, to either set up a backup or to realise your next step, the key is to give this method, and as a result of that, give yourself some time.

I would sincerely like feedback on this method, or in any way I can improve it. And if this method does really help you, I’d be really happy, wherever I may be. Feedback can be provided by any method of contact given on the About page.


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