Monday, June 02, 2008

Do you want to be Rich or Poor?

Of course the question has nothing to do with any reality, but such questions are good for gaining perspective. Those that need perspective the most are people who are closest to those descriptions without the restrictions. I find that people with an abundance of luxuries, earned or inherited, are exposed to a life unlike any normal person will ever be. So, I know it sounds kind of cliche, but I have always enjoyed working with people, fighting the good fight, and making everything out of nothing, so I would have to say I would be the King that cannot take more than one vacation day, as the potential to affect the greatest number of people would be at my fingertips. The challenges of my charge would be enough to motivate me. I am a workaholic by nature, so solving the problems of my kingdom would consume me all of my days. It is a sad thing when people with money begin to feel that they are too big or too important to get their hands dirty. I came from a very poor household (after being rich for while, before my uncles and aunts of dad's side plundered the wealth - literally stealing and ran away) where we lived on roughly 500 Rs a month (those days early 80's) as my father was making lots of losses and was suffering from instability due to the unhelping nature of the brothers and sisters. Seeing and experiencing the suffering first hand in my life helped me to see the value in lifting a hand to help almost anyone I come across in my life that needs it. You cannot put a price on the smile and extremely overwhelming look of gratitude you get when you hold open a door for an older lady, grab a heavy bag off the conveyor belt at the airport/shop, or hand your last change in the purse to a mother with three children standing in the road because she is has no money to eat or no home. Now I am not saying that someone who comes from money wouldn't help that mother, but they really don't see her crying, because their lives are so consumed and their perspectives so different that their mind doesn't register that such an existence truly is there to see. They cannot phathom that a person could actually not have a single paisa to their name and be able to drive another foot or buy a candy bar to split between their children.
Take the time to talk to people, smile, be friendly to everyone. You never know what kind of friends you will make if you just give people a chance. People who come from money can never understand what it means to really have no money and nothing to eat and no means for getting something to eat. It is a terrible existence, at the time, but it makes the rest of your life a magical adventure, creating a world for you that no one else can possibly experience. It is the very reason that immigrants from poor countries go to America and flourish (or for that matter Bangladeshis in India). They actually see USA for what it really means instead of wasting their entire lives fighting against rulings, laws, and distractions created by 'normal' lives because they actually see the big picture and what those blessings really mean to them and their families. Just because you choose to overlook them do not mean that destitude people do not exist. Why would Mukesh Ambani build a 2 billion$ dollar home, while he can make sure with that money, he can eradicate the proverty in Mumbai (if not Maharastra or India)? So do not waste your life helping yourself when your life could be abound with the treasures of helping others. Possibilities only show themselves to those who lend an ear and look away from normality long enough to see them. Do not waster time taking about Yeddyurappa and Shobha Karandlaje or Dhoni and Lakshmi Rai. My daily goal is to affect one person in a positive way, daily. I hope that lending my weird perspectives helped at least one of you. Remember you can change 1000's of lives with one brief moment of your own. A simple smile, a hello, and a little eye contact, psychologically make people feel more important and especially from a stranger, so take the time to do so and you will see what I mean. Have a great day!

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