An interesting thing happened today. Thought of sharing it on my blog.
My son had the last exam of this academic year. He came back home so happy and excited about summer vacation starting tomorrow (More than him, I am also happy and relaxed as I don’t have to bug him about studies and revision until school reopens).
He said his friend gave him a greeting card and showed it to us. It was a handmade and handwritten one!! Apparently, that friend had given the card to many if his friends in their class.
We liked it and appreciated the kid’s thoughtfulness.
Within a few minutes, we found ourselves making comments like, ‘Why did he give the card? Is he leaving your school?‘, ‘Is he contesting for school election the coming year?‘
These remarks made me think, ‘Why are we trying to analyze a simple act of friendliness? Are such acts becoming so rare that we can’t accept that people can do nice things for others without expecting anything in return?‘
This incident took me back a few years. We were visiting an elderly relative (close one) of ours.
That elderly person lived alone and had a maid to do the cleaning stuff. While talking about the various things along with health and life, we noticed that she didn’t have a phone; neither a landline nor a mobile. Since she lived by herself and was in her late 60s, we thought a mobile phone would be helpful both for emotional connect and for safety. So, we bought her a new mobile phone (a model that was made specifically for elders who aren’t used to cell phones yet) along with a SIM card.
After our visit, we happened to hear through some other channel that a few folks viewed our act of gifting a mobile phone in another light. Apparently, it was perceived as an act with an ulterior motive!! We were taken aback by this allegation.
We have become extra careful after this incident. While we continue to be kind and nice to others, we tend to make it very clear that we don’t expect anything in return.
I am not trying to generalize the behavior here. There are obviously people who genuinely want to help or be kind to others for no benefit in return. Given the fact that the majority of the people think ‘What’s in it for me?‘ before doing anything, it takes a nice mind to appreciate the niceties.