Earning the ‘Wealth’ of Happiness through ‘Selfless’ Kindness
Acknowledging the Paradox
On the journey towards becoming a helping professional, I have received blessings from people across various locations within my country to whom I have gotten the opportunity to provide some ‘free of cost’ services. Some labelled it ‘philanthropy’, for some it was ‘kindness’, and for some ‘selflessness’. But if you ask me, it is ‘the motivation to earn the wealth of happiness’. The most amazing part of it is that I get the chance to earn this wealth even during my non-working hours. Blessed to have grown around kind people, I have learnt and realized that kindness is not just an ‘act of selflessness’, it’s a way of living through widening the boundaries of ‘self’. As I sit down to write my story, I am lost in thoughts, the memories of my ‘good deeds’ is refilling my bag of happiness as I am experiencing it in-the-moment. The most fulfilling experiences are the most difficult to pen-down. So I chose to share one experience, which I never knew was ‘being-kind’, for me it was just maybe ‘right’. I was enrolled in a yoga teacher’s training one-year course. The course was pretty strict in terms of punctuality, attendance, examinations, and awarding the teacher’s certificate. Well, one such policy was ‘you enter the class after the prayer starts, you are marked absent’. To understand the repercussions, the other policy was ‘two absents and you are out of the course’. My house was a little far from the place where these classes were held, and so I used to pool the vehicle and go with one other batch mate. According to the route she would pick me up every morning at 5:00 a.m. and we would head towards the class together. One morning, as the clock ticked 4:55 a.m., I, as usual, got out of the gate and waited. It was 5:05 a.m., I checked the watch but the car wasn’t there. Well I waited further. The watch now showed 5:10 a.m. which meant it was high time to leave. I decided to call my batch mate. As I called, I found out that she hadn’t woken up as her alarm somehow did not ring. She told me to leave by my vehicle as she would get late. I said okay, and hung up the call. I rushed inside to take my scooter keys. However, as I came out, leaving her alone did not seem right to me. I decided to wait for her to get ready. I sent her a miss call and a text message to call me back. I waited patiently for her to respond. When she was ready and was about to leave she called me, I could sense the panic and rush in her tone. I just politely told her ‘waiting at the spot’ and hung up the call before she could respond. As I got in the car she geared the engine of the car and began screaming in panic ‘why did you wait for me, why didn’t you leave, are you mad, we both will be getting absent, you would have reached on time’. All throughout, I listened to her smiling quietly. Then I spoke slowly “I know I could have reached, and I had got my scooter keys also, showing it to her which I had forgotten to keep it back. But you seemed a bit tensed, I don’t know whether my company would be of any help but I just did not feel like leaving you alone. And I am enjoying your ride, so relax! She did not respond to me at that time, probably she was busy concentrating on the driving, attempting to somehow reach on time! Of course it was not possible to make on time, and we were late. Tears started rolling her eyes. As for me, I felt bad that our attendance was gone which would have made our task of successfully completing the course really difficult. But I slowly whispered in her ears, as we sat outside during the prayer- “We will finish the course with just one absent!” On our way back home, she apologized to me saying that my attendance was gone because of her. Well, here is a glimpse of our conversation (not the exact words perhaps):
Her: I am feeling so guilty, I am so sorry, today because of me your attendance has gone
Me: No didi (sister), your attendance was gone because you were late, my attendance was gone because I was late.
Her: But we both were late because of me
Me: No, you were late because you woke up late; I was late because I chose to wait
Her: Oh Darling, you did not have to do this. You are an angel, you did not think about yourself even once
Me: Wrong didi, I did not think about my attendance, but I thought about my happiness. Leaving you alone when you sounded tensed wouldn’t have made me happy, but giving you company and sharing the ‘late seat’ has made me happy!! And my subconscious mind surely might have thought about this before deciding.
Her: Thank you my cute angle
Me: Now, for what?
Her: For telling how your ‘selflessness’ was for your ‘own happiness’.
…kindness is a way of living by extending the boundaries of your ‘self’
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