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It’s true that in this life you can never do everything alone, even the heroes and achievers we watch and see, at some point they need someone else to assist them in some way. The question though is, how much help can you ask for before it becomes unacceptable? How much asking is too much?

My brother and his friend have this sort of mantra which goes like, ‘You can’t ask prezzo for a sleepover.’ I mean, however close you are to the president, it just wouldn’t be right whenever you are in town you call him for a place to sleep right? What then happens when you desperately need him to sponsor your new project or maybe need his support when you vie for some political seat after you’ve used all your infinite chances asking for petty things? So whenever they are stranded and are thinking of ways out, they’d remind themselves that they should only ask for help from someone when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Wise move should I say?

This got me thinking; this is something most of us do without actually thinking. You know like you could be having this friend who is always willing to help you with anything. So you just over-do it with the say, ‘we are friends right? They signed up for this.’ So you go all the way from sending them to buy you that dress you saw at the mall to requesting for airtime to asking for loans to requesting for endless favours. But what happens when you suddenly lose your money and have no fare to get you home? Or when you are terribly sick with no enough money for medication? By this time, your dear loyal friend is exhausted by your endless requests. Who then do you turn to? Let’s face it; there is only so much one can handle. They will tolerate you for as long as they can but some day they’ll just say it out loud, ‘I quit!’ And trust me, friends like these, you lose them and that’s it. No one likes being used let alone being OVER-USED.

It’s the same thing when you decide to ask for an advance at work but the advance is for you to buy some latest smartphone. Or when you use up all your off days for petty stuff like attending a birthday party. What then happens when you need a day to go for a mega interview?

Maybe we should really look at every chance we get to be golden. As golden as the three wishes of Aladdin. Maybe every time we want to ask for something from someone we should ask ourselves, ‘If I just had three chances to make a wish to this same person, would this still be important or necessary?’ If you check, the wise people, whenever someone tells them, ‘I owe you one’ they never quickly jump in to say, ‘Buy me pizza then’ or ‘Buy me this attire’ or ‘Take me to this place’. They say, ‘I’ll save that chance for a better day.’ Because yes, some chances and opportunities don’t come back twice.

By the way, i’m sure you’ve heard or even done this yourself. There may be a time where someone asked you for help and you quickly rush to assist them because, ‘He has never asked for a favour before. This seems to be something very important to him.’ Unlike someone who keeps running to you for everything, you wouldn’t take them THAT seriously would you?

So yes, don’t always let your friend be the one to pay for your dinner. Sometimes be the one to pay for theirs. Don’t always be quick to ask for favours at the slightest problem you face. Don’t take people for granted by how much help they offer you. Don’t use people however much they love you. Friendship, family or any other kind of bond, it has to be two-way. So help so that you can be helped too. But it should be within limits because yes, too much of anything is unhealthy and sometimes, annoying! Of course i’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for small favours, we all do that from time to time. The point is; just don’t make it a habit, extreme and overboard! Time for me and you to change…

Because yes! Every chance is golden!

IN THE HUMILIATION OF NEED

 By Lubnah Abdulhalim
Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy
The word ‘need’ might as well be one of the most despicable words existing in the dictionary. Well, maybe not literally but we can say it is, hypothetically. Anything related to the word is often connected to misery, pain, agony or unhappiness. Whatever the need is; whether it is for food, water, money, shelter or anything else, there is no worse need than that of another human being. When need is attached to another human being, then there might as well be no other misery in this world than that.

Have you ever gone to ask for assistance from a person; it could be to ask for some money or help with an assignment or anything but once you get there, they will tell you to wait a moment. That moment may turn to minutes to hours and you are just seated there like a helpless sheep being extremely patient. Why? Because you are the one in need, so you have no option but endure all humiliation a person puts you through. After being kept there waiting for the whole day and maybe went without lunch, the person comes to you and asks you to come again the next day. That kind of game may go on for days before you finally get what you want. If you were hungry and it was food you were seeking, you might as well lack the appetite for the food anymore. By the end of it all, you are frustrated and humiliated beyond limits but you choose to swallow your pride and your personal dignity just because you are the one in need.

However much powerful one may be but once they are in need, arrogance often belongs to the satisfier of the need. It can be so annoying, agitating, irritating, frustrating how another human being can treat you like a puppet; “No, today I don’t have time to listen to your issue. Come next week.” And maybe at that moment, you’ve been going to the same person for the past two weeks. There has always been the option of just quitting and saying “I wont let another human being do this to me ever again” but being needy makes you weaker than you actually are. It makes you dependent; and being dependent is another miserable thing to live on.

Yet the most painful need is the need of affection from another. It is what messes up a person since they have attached all their happiness to this one person who may not even care for them as much as they do. It gives such kind of excruciating pain that may never heal. That kind of need; is like a basketball player that holds the ball in his/her little finger and swirls the ball with such expertize. The player is the satisfier of the need while you become the ball that is being controlled. You become as helpless as that ball and that player has power on what they want to do with you; whether to swirl and spin you in circles or drop you down or throw you from one hand to the other or simply kick you off.  It is like how a person can just come into your once peaceful life and mess around with your life like they are messing and playing with your hair. That kind of need is what has left most people dead of emotions; they are tired of need.

I always thought honesty should be made a must rule to be followed.  Lets keep it real and simple. You just be open and say, “hey buddy, so here’s the thing. I would really want to help you but I am sorry I can’t.” Or “Honestly, I don’t have sufficient time to teach you this. I think you’d better get someone else.” Or rather, “hey girl, I don’t want to play around with your feelings or to disrespect you…stop wasting your time on me.” It is undeniably true that the truth often hurts, but I believe its better you hit on point straight away so that the person in need knows how to sort themselves out. It’s not tasty to send a person up and down and in circles while you very well know you aint interested to help or offer what is expected of you. Believe me, all the blessings you were ever going to get by helping or assisting that needy person may all go to waste just because of the humiliation and suffering you made them go through before you finally gave them what they want. And if you are willing to help then do it with sincerity and without troubling the needy. Let’s learn how to be more compassionate. Today it may be me, him, or her who is need, tomorrow may be your day, who knows? After all, every dog has its day.