Self-help is the best help

Self-help is the best help

For practically all our lives many of us have had the luxury of having some domestic help. The more privileged sections had an entire retinue waiting on them hand and foot. But now in the pandemic, we have learnt the hard way that self-help is the best help. Cleaning, washing, dusting and numerous mundane jobs have all fallen on the shoulders of those who were once employers. And has done everyone a lot of good. Family members might have protested initially when asked to pitch in— change is always resisted— but as the new reality sinks in, it has now become the order of the day they have had to fall in line— like it or not.

Speaking for myself, I find the house, garden and dishes and all else cleaner than ever before and that does a lot for the energies of the place. The food tastes better because it is cooked with care, love and attention to detail. There is pride and satisfaction in doing our own jobs and cleaning up the mess.

The dignity of work, personal responsibility are concepts that the younger generation must be exposed to and taught to live by. It is solid training for life and good for the spirit. No job is really infra dig or menial and doing it does not belittle anybody. Once that mental perception is set, the battle is half won. The drudgery of jobs can always be taken out by doing them mindfully, meditatively— all it takes is a little focus on your breathing, being aware of your posture which I learnt the hard way after my knees started to hurt from standing for long and adopting a joyful or even prayerful attitude— work is worship, remember or by using music or visualisation like picture the end result, for instance, a stack of freshly washed clothes or a clean sink as opposed to "I want to get this damn thing over with".

The attitude towards the work on hand makes all the difference. Routine jobs can cut into one’s time but with planning and scheduling and division of responsibilities, this can be overcome.

No man is an island. For tough, physically demanding and risky jobs like moving heavy furniture, cleaning out rubble (if there is some demolition) accessing the loft or ceiling fans reach out for help and you will find it. For all else, the best helping hand could well be at the end of your own arm.

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