Yesterday brought me good learning in human relationships.
I was facilitating a workshop with an NGO team near Bhimashankar in Maharashtra. The NGO was started by two compassionate persons in 1990s to work with tribals affected by a dam construction (since they lost their land and livelihood because of dam construction and are not rehabilitated 35+years hence). First lesson –
- You need not be oppressed to work for their empowerment. Being compassionate and passionate is more important.
One of the founder couple, lady is 84 years and is suffering from dementia after a stroke. Her husband passed away some years ago and she is alone. If you see, she does not have any role in the organisation owing her age and ailment. But the staff of the organisation takes care of her so well! NGO’s office is in the house of the lady. So she is taken care during the day, given medicines on time, her diet for diabetes is adhered to and she has a company. I was amazed at this relationship! To top it up, one of the young staff members, a young lady lives with her in the house, so her health and safety are taken care 24×7. Such a wonderful way of showing gratitude to the person who started the organisation and even greater geature of taking care of elderly people. Some of the lessons in human relations for me:
- We do not need to be related by blood or assets to take care of elderly and sick.
- Our identity today is built on someone’s vision and hardwork many years ago. So be less ego bloated and more humble.
- Small acts of kindness do not require money or resources. Just a willingness to share time and care is enough.
- We all are interdependent. If we care, we get cared in return.
- Taking care of elders is like an insurance for our old age because our children imitate us.
- Humanity is what can keep the society healthy and happy, not material gain or development.
I felt humbled and honored to witness this wonderful relationship! And I promise that I’ll do everything possible to care for parents on both sides. At least will not let them be lonely in their 70s and 80s.
Another experience was of a retired couple in their late 60s. We were traveling together to Bangalore. They were worried to reach their son’s home very late in the night, in an unknown city which doesn’t speak their language. Our flight was reaching Bangalore at 12.00 midnight and then they were advised to take a bus to central bus station, and from there an auto rickshaw or a taxi to home. I was amazed at this blood relationship. A young son sits at home and asks his parents to reach home on their own changing vehicles in the dark and rainy night! What an irony! No wonder aunty was talking spiritual stuff (as if consoling herself) and they are heading back home in a week’s time! I’m not judging the son since I don’t know his circumstances or limitations. But certainly I don’t subscribe to his inability to come and pickup parents from the airport. Lessons?
- Count your blessings and express gratitude! I’m happy that our parents on both the sides are respected and taken care by all their children.
- Never leave your parents or anyone vulnerable. One has to pay back for one’s karma.
- Reach out and help such people as much as possible. So Mehul and I dropped them near their son’s home in a neighbourhood area.
- Life is beautiful when your partner shares your sentiments and actions. This is true for the couple and us!!
Love you life for offering me such meaningful learning and for sending loving and kind persons in my life!!