Friday, October 26, 2018

Anjali - Who Should I be Kind to?

An agitated Anjali stormed into my room soon after she came back from school.

'Tell me Nanna,' she demanded. 'Who should I be kind to first? Myself or others? All the time they say be kind to others, give to others? What about me?'

I let her cool off a bit and then said.
'I think one should always be kind to themselves first and only then be kind to others. For the simple reason that we cannot give what we do not have ourselves. So if I want to help people, I should first be in a position to help myself, to have money, knowledge or whatever. Only then can I give to the needy, or to others.'

'Then when should I be kind to others?' she asked. 'If I am always being kind to myself?'
'Kindness cannot be forced. Don't force yourself. When you are kind to yourself, you are automatically kind to the world. But if you are forcing yourself, it means you need to first be kind to yourself. Remember the popular airline warning - first wear your safety device before you help others.'

'For example if I want to help the world, I will be better off building a profitable business which makes lots of money (and make me rich), because I can provide employment to so many people. On the other hand, if I do not do enough for myself and instead try to help people, both me and the people I try to help will struggle.'

She nodded.

Hope it made some sense.

These days I can see a change in the equation a bit. These days there are more dilemmas, more questions, moralistic, ethical. So Anjali asks me these questions, poses moral and ethical issues.

And I find myself trying to explain it as best as I can.

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