Helping others

What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is to have succeeded.

The above quotation by famous poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, gives me gooseflesh every time I read it. I thought that it probably did describe a friend of mine who goes completely out of her way to be nice to everyone and kind to those in need. If she likes a person and feels that that person is special, she will give her life to that person She is considerate and generous and every time I visit her, I go empty-handed, but return with my hands full!

Yet, she has a self-image problem compounded by low self-esteem. This could be because she is 40 plus and still unmarried with the additional problem that she has never been consistent in her employment ventures. I wanted her to know that she has some of the most wonderful traits and so I showed her the above quotation and reiterated to her that though by normal everyday-life standards, life would not rate her as successful, by Ralph Waldo Emersons quotation, she was rollickingly successful!

Indeed, helping others is an art and a science; it is a craft and a skill that not everyone possesses. Either you have it or you don’t, while one can not deny that those blessed with it make the world a far better place to live in. It is ironical that for those who are kind to others can’t help but rubbing the goodwill that these acts generate to all those around sometimes without their even realizing it!

For those willing to practice true sadhana and devotion, nothing can be truer than Shri Satya Sai Baba’s words carved in Prashanti Nilayam, Hands that help are better than lips that pray.

Without a doubt, people who have this trait are more cheerful than glum wet blankets who complain bitterly about all and sundry. One needn’t try to focus on elaborate acts of helpfulness; sometimes even little things mean a lot.

So, to my diffident but definitely sacred friend, I will reproduce here Stephen Grellets words which I feel she nobly espouses, I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing I can do, therefore, or any help or kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

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