Having a shoulder to lean on

Having a shoulder to lean on

support system

Having a shoulder to lean on
In the initial days, when a woman went through some tough times, she had either her mother or her grandmother or a friend at work to talk to. There was always a sympathetic listener that she could bank upon.

Such people not only listened to her but also gave valuable advice on how to deal with the troublesome situation. But today, things seem to have changed drastically. Nobody has time to hear her sob stories anymore. Those in trouble or tangled in family disputes have to seek either professional help or sort the issue out themselves.

Thanks to the current fast-paced lifestyles, no one has the time to spare for others’ misfortunes. Life for everyone in a buzzing city means catching the right bus or train, depending on traffic, handling home as well as office responsibilities and minding the relationships in their own lives. In this melee of duties and the rush of life, there is hardly any time left for activities like sitting and listening to cry stories which finally have to be sorted out by the sufferer herself.

A friend recently asked me which part of the human body was the most sacred. Looking at my perplexed face, she laughed and said the ‘shoulder’ of a person was the best, because it could be offered to people who were hurt, defeated by life, ill, unable to bear the sorrow of their lives, their deprivations and their limitations. She said that human beings always need succour and support from each other to live a good life and feel safe. The same goes for all the women too.

But if this be true, why is it in recent years, the shoulder to lean on has made a quiet exit from our society? Today’s young Indians (two-thirds of the population at 65% is under the age of 35) are not interested in why things cannot be done; they just want results. “If you are trying to achieve your goal, obstacles and problems will come in your path,” they say, “you are not the only chosen one to have difficulties or roadblocks.”

Now it’s no surprising fact that things are always more troublesome for women more than men. While the approaches to these problems differ for both sexes, the impact, sadly, is bigger for the woman. Maybe she is troubled with the innumerable responsibilities she has to handle. Or maybe she is unable to cope up with the stress at work. She might also be having troubles with her health.

Now, offering only a shoulder to lean on won’t solve all her problems. But just the fact that you are willing to lend a patient ear to her troubles will soothe her and reduce her stress. If nothing else, you will succeed in becoming an outlet to her frustration. Verbal advice or a gentle touch can help temporarily but the real burden of the problem is on the woman who suffers.

Now not every women will expect someone to come to her rescue when she’s in trouble. There are some who handle everything on their own. But a counsellor says, “Not all people are strong and resilient. People in different strata of society and different situations do need to talk to someone they can trust so that their burden of events or challenges in life become easier to bear and resolve.”

Adding to this mess is the fact that women are always taken for granted. Be it their time or their efforts, women’s resources are assumed to be for all. This lackadaisical attitude discourages many women to stop going out of their way to help others or even extend the basic courtesy.

“I worked in a bank at a high position,” says Varuna Saigal, “I helped many women who came to me to get loans and start their small businesses for their financial independence. Now many of them are doing exceedingly well but they have forgotten me! They rarely stop by. I know good deeds should be done for one’s own self and not as a favour to others, but I have to admit that it hurts, I have learnt now not to bend over backwards to help anybody.”

A tip for all those people who wish to provide a shoulder to lean on for women: don’t patronise the woman in need. Don’t tell her that her troublesome times are all a result of her bad karma or fate. And never ever tell her that it’s only a matter of time before things get better.

When she comes to you for some help, just listen to her and if possible, get her positivity up and running. Most of the times, she won’t be looking for a solution to all her problems, but only for some motivation to get those solutions herself.

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