What is heartening about the city I was residing in till recently is the consideration shown to elders. Whenever I come here to visit my parents, I also take up the chauffeur duty because the driver plays truant more often than he comes for work. And while I’m on this duty, I take care to park the car somewhere close to where they have disembarked so that they don’t have to come searching for me nor do they have to walk far.
Recently, I took my mother to the tailor she has been patronising for the last 5 decades. Since it was a crowded parking lot, I parked to the side but in front of some cars. Though I was seated in the car, ready to move out of anyone’s way, the parking attendant arrived and started the usual instructions of ‘go here, there etc’. But when I explained that my mother had difficulty walking far, he immediately changed his tone and directed me to a spot close by. He was more than willing to help me squish the car into a tiny space. Just then, he looked up and with a distinct note of relief said, “Lo, mummyji bhi aa gaye.” (There, your mother has come).
My father gets the same consideration when he marches off to ascertain why he’s got a bill that hasn’t been adjusted according to his calculations or to register a complaint about the non-functional landline (they still exist). Last time, he had a concerned employee of the electricity department escort him to the lift and place him in it with tender care. This time, he had the employees of the telephone department shepherding him into the lift just as he placed his foot on the first step of the staircase – ‘this way is much better’. With all the expedited attention accorded to him, I had just found myself some illegal parking space when he appeared at the entrance. And as always when I rush to collect him, he never fails to express his appreciation for the concern and help given.
At 95, he is the epitome of an indomitable will that overrides his slightly trembling hands and unsteady gait as he tries to negotiate the uneven surfaces of potholed sidewalks and barriers that serve no useful purpose. All those assisting him may think his children are unfeeling brats living it up in Amreeka while he goes around sorting out life’s problems on his own. What they probably don’t realise is that he absolutely refuses to let us do these chores. He enjoys the little excursions that validate to him his independence. And he certainly enjoys the consideration so generously shown to him.
In gratitude, I send some high-frequency, joyful energy to those strangers, knowing that they will receive it at the energetic level. Such thoughtful acts may not be the case everywhere and with everyone. But when we dwell on, reflect and enjoy such instances of kindness, we give this love-based energy more impetus at the collective level. The more we dwell on how the world is going from bad to worse and there’s really no love or helpfulness towards the elders in our society, the more we give that energy power. And it becomes. The power of our thoughts and emotions is truly mind-blowing. Each one of us may play a valuable role in raising the energy frequency of this world through our love-based thoughts and emotions.
It is our empowered choice to make. Be the change you want to see in the world (Apparently not a quote from Mahatma Gandhi).
Human beings generally like to be helpful, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in more major ways. We Indians are notorious for giving wrong directions to a lost motorist in the overriding impulse to be helpful. Or as is the case in the mountains, the villagers feel almost compelled to encourage you by telling you that the place you are wheezing your way to is just 5 minutes away, just over the next rise or around the corner. If you’re lucky and the path is not too steep, you reach there within an hour.
When I first started living in the Himalayas, I would often use the bus service to make my way around. However, there were times when the colourful local bus would not make an appearance because apparently the driver had more important things to do than transport passengers from point A to point B. Those were the times I would flag down a car (always a small one because the drivers of bigger cars apparently also had better things to do).
One fine midday, when I was rather frantically trying to get to a client in the next valley and no bus was in sight, I thankfully hopped into a car that had stopped to give me a lift. It was only when I was sitting comfortably in the empty backseat and we were on our way that the alcoholic fumes hit me from the passenger in front. A little concerned, I looked over at the driver and asked, “Coming back from a function? A marriage or had a devta (local god) come visiting?” These are some of the occasions when men start drinking from the morning till they eventually pass out or weave their inebriated way home. The driver replied that they were returning from a feast. Being of a certain mature age, I find I’m permitted to ask impertinent questions without the other person taking offense so I promptly asked the driver if he had also imbibed. The waiting client could wait, I was going to save my skin.
The amiable driver replied that he didn’t drink and I sat back to enjoy the scenery. That’s when his companion stirred himself to start a monologue. He told me about his recent retirement from a government job and how he had refused to cooperate with the arrogant sub-divisional magistrate in the last one year and how he was so glad to be out of all of it.
“Didi (sister),” he then said in a tone that was going to make an important pronouncement, “didi, I am so happy today because in all my 60 years, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to call someone my Didi.” Something that I seriously doubted because I had discovered that most men in these areas have at least a couple of ‘rakhi sisters’ that seem to enjoy almost the same status as the real sisters. But he went on, “Didi, do you know we are 5 brothers and NOT ONE of us has a sister?” He tried to twist around in his seat to ascertain whether I was truly grasping this incredible fact. Then he pulled a wad of notes from his back pocket and threw them onto the backseat with a flourish.
I usually let people in such a condition ramble on without too much interference, especially when I can’t escape it but when the retired government employee stopped the car to buy me a carbonated drink and some hard stuff for himself, I thought it was time to state how I really needed to get going or I would be late for my appointment. To which he magnanimously replied, “Didi, you take the car and carry on, we’ll catch the bus later.” Turning to his companion, the driver whose car it was, he said, “Let’s give her the car because she’s in a hurry. We’ll stop and have our drink.” To which dear friend agreed. I somehow don’t think he could have done anything else because the front seat passenger had a certain imperiousness about him that demanded agreement.
However, it was soon clear that though he sincerely wanted to help this new Didi, warning bells were ringing in some more lucid part of his brain. “Didi,” he said again, “you take the car but leave the car keys on the table with us. Yes, you do that – you take the car, your problem solved and you leave the keys with us.” After which, he commanded his friend to stop the car for the fifth time and with an apologetic backward glance at me, the driver stopped the car.
As I walked on, I reflected that day on this desire to be helpful. It had been quite presumptuous of me to try to insist that we drive on when he clearly wanted to stop for further celebrations. But the desire to be helpful had battled with the desire for more drink and come up with what he thought had been a perfect solution.
People in these parts are generally more than helpful. Perhaps it is because they haven’t lost a sense of being part of a community. Fortunately for me, it seems I’ve become a slightly strange addition to it because they all seem to have adopted me, much like a stray who’s wandered into these parts and seems set to become a resident. May all strays be just as welcome!
The thing about being helpful is that it gives as much happiness to the giver as to the recipient. There is a certain happiness that arises whenever we help out another, even in the simplest of ways and for the briefest of moments. These moments dilute the harsh critic that resides within and place us in a higher frequency that immediately transforms the next few moments, hours or day in a happier, more fulfilling way.
Pass it on – the acts of kindness and consideration. They are truly invaluable!
A healer helps others heal themselves. They don’t have magical abilities that are going to override the free will of the person seeking the healing nor do they wish to. What is honoured is the fact that everyone is on their own journey through life and consciousness. And on this journey, the free will of each person is sacrosanct.
In the early days of my healing practice, this truth would often present itself to me till I accepted it as part of my knowing. However, before I did, I was always full of optimism, which was founded on the belief that if someone had asked me for a healing, it was because they wanted to resolve the issues in their lives.
People move on from an experience when they are completely done with it, which is quite different from being stressed by it. I remember a young woman, staying at a nearby resort, who requested a healing. We spent almost the entire morning in a session because it was clear that she needed to vent about all that was troubling her, in particular her relationship with her in-laws. Then we did some healing. The next morning, I bumped into her as I had come for another healing session. With a wide smile, I asked her how she was feeling. To which, she responded, “Well, I’ve realised I’m not ready to forgive them.” She was feeling marginally better but not the relief and lightness that comes from letting go of heavy, fear-based emotions. In time and when she’s had enough of that particular experience, she may consider the broader picture and the insights that will free her from her resentment and the need to pay back. There’s nothing wrong with any of the choices she makes. It is her journey and hers alone to make. In our own unique journey, we are all having experiences that lead to our growth in the grand drama of this existence.
Was it a waste of time to offer her those insights that would help her step away from feeling like a victim of her circumstances and the people in her life, so that she could become empowered? No. Whatever was conveyed to her will leave a delicate imprint of thoughts that constitute the love-based possibilities of her life and whenever she comes to that point of growth where she is ready to move on, the seed will begin to germinate.
This is what we all do for each other. Give suggestions, convey other possibilities from our own experience that carry that ring of truth. Unsolicited advice is quite often not welcome and in those cases, it’s best to put away our well-meaning attempts to fix and repair people. But when a friend or loved one approaches you for guidance, it is a wonderful opportunity to help that person to a higher love-based possibility of that issue, to move from feeling like a victim to becoming empowered. In the highest truth, we are all One and as each of us moves into a perspective of love and light, we all benefit.