Saturday, June 15, 2019

Playing The Victim

Being a victim is no fun.We all know that.Yet some people do self-victimize.They blame external factors for their troubles and failures,proclaim to all that they are victims of circumstances or others' machinations and refuse to take responsibility for the way their life is going.

We can divide them into two categories.First we have genuine victims who have low self worth and a weak fighting spirit.Perhaps their early experiences or their genetic make up are responsible for this,but it does make them easy targets of predators.You will find them whining but making no attempts to fight against those who victimize them.They firmly believe that they are destined to live like this for ever.They may repeatedly get into abusive relationships and do nothing to protect themselves,whereas they should be setting boundaries and asserting themselves. The truth is,they enjoy the care and sympathy which is bestowed upon them because of their sorry state.They tend to go overboard with self pity.

The second kind should better be known as manipulators who will use their sob stories to influence others' thoughts,feelings and actions.In fact they are out to manipulate others in the garb of a victim.They bank on others' altruistic feelings to get what they want.

Or they may play the victim to justify their abuse of others.Some shirks project a picture of "poor old me" so that the most cumbersome tasks are shouldered by others while they enjoy an easy life.But these tactics have a short life.Eventually people see through them and leave them to their own devices-or to pick up other gullible souls.     

In fact playing the victim is not productive for anyone.Even if you are the first kind you cannot advance in life if you are always harping upon your bad luck.Your public image will be that of a weakling who is for ever lamenting about this or that.You will lead a substandard,lonely life,your potential undiscovered.

And as far as the second kind is concerned, this kind of manipulation is detected very soon.It is enough to push away friends and family and you are on your own after that.What's more,you will also be labeled as a selfish,conniving exploiter.

How to deal with the self-victimizers?On one hand it is inhuman to ignore someone who is going through a bad phase,on the other hand, that someone could be faking it to con you.Besides,giving empathetic support has a shelf life.It can be very draining.You cannot interminably listen to some one's complaints without neglecting your own schedules or being distressed yourself.A better approach is to guide the real victims to see how they are neglecting their own safety and welfare,and support them while they fight their demons.

Self-victimization is antithetical to a  rich fulfilling life.It deprives the 'victims' of the joy of victory,of overcoming hurdles and making progress.It only gives them temporary solace,self pity,stagnation and derision in return.Ultimately it boils down to this:-
Why play it then?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Seven #Mantras Which Drive Me

We imbibe certain ideas of right and wrong through watching our parents since the day we are born.As we grow up the extended family,teachers and peer group add to that list.Subsequent experiences prompt us to refresh this list according to our own judgement and requirements.We discard the principles which we think are spurious or won't help us advance in life and continue to deploy those which hold value or utility for us.These become our life mantras.They hold us together.Abiding by them adds to our sense of self-worth,a satisfaction of having done the right thing.

Let me share a few of my life mantras:--
Honesty is the best policy
I imbibed this from my father,he did not have to say it in so many words.I saw how upright he was and how it fetched him respect and insulated him from unnecessary complications and decided that it was the best policy indeed.It also obviates the necessity of having to lie left,right and center,which incidentally,is something I dislike immensely.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be
This too was my father's dictum.It included not only borrowing from friends or family but also taking loans from banks.I know the latter is totally against the current ethos but it is what I believe in.When we desist from taking loans we try to live within our means.We learn to curb reckless consumerism.This also entails saving and neither wasting nor splurging.As far as lending is concerned I prefer giving charity to needy persons.Lending money to friends or family can spoil the relationships.
Respect all humans
When we do well in life,attain a notable status,a kind of superiority permeats our thinking.We look down upon those who are below us.It boosts our ego but it hurts those whom we disparage.If ever I am tempted to spurn someone I remind myself that "There,but for the grace of God,go I." Those who are low in hierarchy have to put up with enough ignominy without us adding to it.The true test of anyone's character is how s/he treats those who are below them.
Duty first
This principle is important for me because as I see it,I enjoy many rights and privileges for which I should be thankful to individuals far and near;consequently I too must fulfill my responsibilities and do what is expected of me.If everyone did this,relationships would bloom and ease of living too,would improve.In the context of family of course this principle is of inestimable value.
The law of karma
This dictum has religious sanctity as we all know,but it also makes sense from a practical point of view.The fear of having to reap the consequences of our actions,impels most of us to refrain from committing willful misdeeds.It is an inbuilt mechanism which promotes good behavior.
Superstitions and elaborate rituals
I lean towards logic therefore if any superstition crosses my mind I scrap it then and there.As far as elaborate rituals and external symbols of faith are concerned I don't consider them important.Going to temples and holy places too does not enthuse me.God is omnipresent,I can connect with him at any time and place.I care more about ethics and morality.
Whatever happens,happens for the best
Any setback,catastrophe,disaster or misfortune naturally causes a lot of distress and turmoil.But such events do have some hidden benefits.They help us to evolve,which I believe is the sole purpose of life.We analyse what went wrong,where we erred,and remove our shortcomings.Adverse circumstances promote stoicism and teach us how to overcome our difficulties.This is how we become strong,skillful and resilient.There is lesser frustration and more of action.

These seven principles have become an inseparable part of my thinking.Early experiences plus existential needs have a huge impact on what we believe in and your mantras might be different from mine.I would love to know them.Do share.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

This Long Road

Step by step,how far we go!
This long road
away from home
did I know
when I first stepped out
what it was
going to be like?

smooth or rough
or strewn with stones
gentle curves 
or twists and turns
hot and dusty
or cool and shady
steep uphill climb
or a slip down ravine?

and the companions-
friends or opponents
kind and encouraging
or sharp and stinging
empathetic and true
or vile through and through?

no,nothing of this kind
crossed my mind
I just stepped out
and plunged headlong
as the day advanced
reality dawned
this was no dance
nor a walk in the park

a mixed platter
had been served to me
and the making or breaking
now rested on me
it was a test
to do my best
for this exam
and also my nest
so much the better
without a flutter

from where I stand
what used to be home 
is  nowhere in sight
only the road ahead
and this fading light
step by step
breath by breath
how far I have come
from my sweet old home.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

How To Feel Important

So you want to feel more important?Here are some tricks-culled from my own experience.Put them in practice and you will be the guiding star of your group and the rage of any party.

*If you have been invited to a birthday party,kitty party or a marriage ceremony-be late.Late enough for people to start wondering"Where is Indu?What happened?Hope she is O.K."And then you sashay in."Sorry,sorry.Extremely sorry.A friend came up with a problem and I just had to help her out." 

*Alternatively,prepare to leave a gathering while all else are present and explain in loud terms that you have been invited to another 'do' and they will be highly disappointed if you don't make an appearance.

*Another savvy tip:If an acquaintance is having trouble getting something done from the local administration or a politician promise to help him out.Now he begins to chase you.Extend sweet honey dipped excuses and keep the hope (as well as )the chase alive.

*The surest way of gathering people around you is to fall sick-no,not very seriously but enough to have them asking about your welfare,giving advice and doing small jobs for you.What is slight exaggeration and a dose of histrionics to be fussed over and talked about? 

*Talk,talk,talk.About your connections,your achievements,your skills and your likes and dislikes.

*Facebook friends are far more numerous than real ones and it imperative to shine in that galaxy if you wish to feel important.Show off a trendy dress as soon as you buy it.Don't forget to post a selfie if you are travelling by air or snacking at a high end eatery.And what about the sumptuous dishes which you cook?Show them those too.Every little bit counts.And yes,you cannot become a VIP without liking every update and being liked in return-in astronomical figures.

Come to think of it-why am I doling out these nuggets?I hardly get any likes.Mine is a gone case-damaged beyond repair.What the heck!I too want to feel important.So please like and respond.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Gazal In Which You May Find Shades Of Your Own Sentiments

आज मैं आपके साथ एक ग़ज़ल शेयर करना चाहती हूं  जो मैंने २,३ साल पहले पढ़ी  थी.शायर हैं शकील उद्दीन. तो लीजिये आप भी इसका आनंद उठाइये:--

गमे  हयात उठाना हंसी मज़ाक नहीं.'
फिर उसपे हंस के दिखाना हंसी मज़ाक नहीं.

बदलते देखी है तकदीर  हमने शाहों की,
किसी के दिल को दुखाना हंसी मज़ाक नहीं.

मैं अपने हाल पे खुद कहकहे लगता हूँ,
मज़ाक खुद का उड़ाना हंसी मज़ाक नहीं.

खुद अपने ख्वाब बिखरने का खौफ रहता है,
किसी को ख्वाब दिखाना हंसी मज़ाक नहीं.

तस्सुरात वो चेहरे के पढ़ने लगता है,
बहाना उससे बनाना हंसी मज़ाक नहीं.

न जाने कितने मराहिल किये हैं तय लेकिन,
तुम्हारी बज़्म में आना हंसी मज़ाक  नहीं.

This gazal was penned by Shakeel Uddien.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

My Favorite Quote

This quote I think,is the best advice anyone could give anyone.None of us is perfect.We have many flaws and weaknesses.We also face many problems-whether in our home or work life.So what do we do?We change jobs,domiciles,friends and life partners.When we are depressed or experience a burnout we are advised to take a break,go on a holiday.

Does any of this give succor?Hardly.What does give relief is when we look inside,see what we are doing wrong and fix it.If our attitudes,expectations,behavior and way of working or relating are the cause of our problems how will changing the externals help us?History will repeat itself.

Suppose I am sick to death of my neighbors.I change my residence but there again I am dissatisfied.Now I need to consider if I am doing something wrong?Does my attitude up their antennae?Am I so feeble that I cannot lay down their boundaries?Or do I take normal friendliness as an intrusion?Whatever my shortcoming,when I fix that,then I will be happy;not only in my home life but also at my work and in my relationships.

So,whenever we are at loggerheads with life it is best to search inside and find the way out.Confucius gave us a golden rule,applicable to each one of us.Amen!!!!!!

image from google search

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Calamity-Worse Confounded

Sanjay was a tall,well built 16 yr old boy when he visited me a few years back.He was referred by two shopkeepers from whom he used to purchase some items because he looked depressed.Mark,neither his course mates nor his teachers noticed this fact.

He certainly looked very depressed.He had passed the 10th board exams from another state in vernacular medium with good marks.He planned to compete for state government jobs after graduation.But his uncle motivated him to come to Kota,join a coaching institute and do B.Tech from an IIT.So he brushed up his English and came here.

He was a bright student and started with a good rank.After a couple of months the boy with whom he shared his room in a hostel hung himself from the fan.It was Sanjay who broke open the door and found him.Naturally he was devastated.As if this was not enough to numb him,his paternal grandfather expired after one week.

He went home and returned after a week.He was in a state of severe shock even after returning.He divulged that he was crying continuously for two weeks.Then one day he opened his note books and found that they were totally blank.He tried to catch up with others but the link had broken and his rank kept slipping.

It was four months after the double tragedies that the shopkeepers had sent him to me.His initial complaint was that his rank at the institute was slipping.Actually,he was in doldrums about his future.He could not decide what to do.He felt lonely and home sick over here;but he feared that if he went back he would be jeered at,his mother would become a laughing stock and his uncle too would be disappointed.At the same time,he did not want to stay on in Kota.

I asked him to tell me about his life before coming to Kota. He told me that his parents were teachers in his home state.His mother taught in the very school from which he had passed out.Earlier,while he was growing up,she had shifted to a hostel to do M.Ed.He was not much attached to her.He loved his father dearly.

His parents were in town when I interviewed Sanjay. His mother wanted him to stay on for five more months after which she would take leave and come to stay with him. Sanjay was not at all keen at this prospect.I advised his parents to allow him some rest,take him back,and decide about his future after the 12th board exams.The mother was not in favor of this even after oblique counselling.In fact even this was spurious because she had seen her son's condition.The father was mostly quiet.

I asked Sanjay to tell me what they had decided and contact me if he stayed back.His parents were to leave Kota on the next day.There was no communication from him after this.Later on,when I tried to follow it up his mo.number was declared as invalid.I hope he is fit and doing well in whichever field he chose. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

12 Tips to nix #Overthinking

Our thoughts decide how we lead our lives.Every action or reaction stems from a thought.And inaction stems from many thoughts-or overthinking-which implies thinking too much for too long about any problem,event or person.Urban Dictionary describes it as "The art of creating problems that weren't even there."This seems tangy but it is quite true.Overthinking can certainly cause many problems.

When your mind goes round and round in circles about one single factor considering it's various variants,it receives multiple answers.Processing all that information,segregating the truth from chaff,the relevant from the irrelevant and the helpful from the harmful can be very trying.

Naturally this creates a lot of confusion.You swim in a sea of doubts and worries.As you straggle the pinwheel of your thoughts you lose sense of time and may neglect other,pressing matters.Overthinking blocks action,you cannot lead a decisive,progressive life if you are prone to overthinking. 

It also alienates you from others.The tangle of worries makes you irritable and reclusive.You are so immersed in your thoughts that you neglect the people around you.If you think too much about what somebody said or did,you may suspect hidden motives where none existed,and harbor baseless biases in your mind.The more you keep to yourself the more you will be with your thoughts;and the lonelier too.

This is not good for your mental health.You have no peace of mind and your sleep too is disturbed because overthinking is not adulatory in nature.It generates anxiety of course,but it can also devolve into depression or phobias.

There is no doubt overthinking is more destructive than constructive.It's genesis lies in insecurity and lack of confidence.Boosting your confidence  is therefore the best way to nix it.A few practical tips given below will assist you to be more decisive and less hesitant.
Discipline your thoughts
Thinking once,twice or thrice about anything is enough.Overthinking clogs the brain and decreases clarity of thought.
1)Decide how much time you need to come to a decision: 5 minutes,10 minutes or 15 minutes.
2)Don't breach that limit when you have to take a decision.
3)Apply the same rule even when you are merely going over the day's events.
Be active instead of ruminative
4)Our thoughts run wild when we are idle.Choose leisure time activities which interest you so that you do not just sit and think.
5)If you dislike something or do not agree with it,say so at that very time,instead of mulling over it later on.
Avoid second thoughts
6)Since you are an over thinker you are not likely to take a decision without due deliberation,but once you have reached a decision,stick to it.
7)Don't speculate whether it is in your best interest or not,because you have already considered all the pros and cons.
8)And don't worry what others will say about your endeavors either.Have the confidence to do what you believe in.
9)Pay no heed to the naysayers,there are plenty of them.
Live in the present
The present demands your full focus.Thinking of the past or worrying about the future is very often the cause of over thinking.
10)Don't go back to what happened yesterday,day before or even much earlier.
11)Cultivate the habit of putting quick closure to things,things which are likely to haunt you.
12)And don't envisage grey happenings in the future.

These are very small changes but they will take you far.You will be able to scrap over thinking and the associated tensions.Your anxiety will subside and you will progress in life.Even your relationships will improve as people spot the changes in you.In short,scrapping over thinking will prove to be a big game changer for you.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Your Self-help Guide For Eliminating #Anxiety

"Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness,unease or worry that typically occurs in the absence of imminent threat.It differs from fear,which is the body's natural response to immediate danger."
The wide tentacles of anxiety engulf all else.Even the activities which earlier pleased you are now ignored.In order to get rid of it you must first understand how it caught hold of you.

The brain learns from repetition.When you think fearful,worrisome,disturbing thoughts repeatedly,these thought engrave a pathway in the brain and the mind automatically latches on to that path whenever there is a ripple in the wind.Apprehension and worry become a way of reacting to every situation.These emotions trigger the release of stress hormones like Cortisol and Adrenalin which further aggravate your anxiety.

Living with anxiety is tough.You can try the tips given below to get rid of it and live a more enjoyable life:--
Understand your thoughts
Anxiety is the outcome of faulty thought processes.If you scrutinize your thoughts you may find that they are not a true reflection of reality.They are mostly marred by cognitive distortions.

For example you may be making a mountain of a molehill or jumping to the conclusion that an imminent change is going to be disastrous for you.In this way you maximize your difficulty and filter out your problem solving skills which have served you till now,thereby minimizing your own capability to solve your problem.Naturally,the outlook appears bleak.
Inculcate rational thinking
Try to be more rational while assessing situations and forming opinions.Inculcating rational thinking requires sustained efforts because you have to change an established habit which automatically butts in whenever you are in a thinking mode.If the thought of any contingency perturbs you repeatedly,evaluate it on the metric of logic and probability.Push it to the background with a stricture that you shall deal with it when it happens-if it does.Tell yourself that you have managed your affairs till now and shall do even better when the need arises.
Provide new pathways to your thoughts
Whenever you are at a loose end or tense about something,take up an activity which interests you very much and requires total concentration,so that a different line of thinking replaces your negative thoughts.

For example,those who are the intellectual type will forget all else when they play a brain game or solve a puzzle.

For the artistic folks nothing can be more absorbing than dabbling with paints and brushes.

I myself take up stitching when I want to forget my worries.It works like magic.

The spiritual kind experience peace when they listen to devotional songs and reinforce their faith in a supreme being.My own husband benefits immensely from this.

The sporty guys will forget their worries when they play a vigorous game or take up activities which make them sweat.This will have the double benefit of using up surplus stress hormones.

Take up the diversion which interests you to block distressing emotions.It is essential to prevent the mind from going into wrong channels.
Use up the stress hormones
The most effective cure for anxiety is to use up the surplus energy which is running in your blood stream through regular exercise,because it is this energy which robs you of restful sleep and keeps you on tenterhooks.There are so many activities to choose from: running,jogging,gymming,aerobics,dancing,swimming,gardening or yoga.Choose the one which appeals to you so that you will not shirk it.
Do what you feel you cannot do
Anxiety lies.It will tell you that you can't do so many things which you have been doing till now-like driving a vehicle,going to the market,attending a meeting,enjoying a party and talking to your neighbors.If you obey these diktats you will end up feeling morose and inadequate.Defy these directives.Catch the bull by the horns and do what you are scared of doing.This will help to reduce your anxiety.You will experience a wave of joy at having defeated anxiety. 
Stick to your routine
When you are in the grip of anxious thoughts you may not feel like leaving the bed,but if you continue to lie down and keep thinking of all that is going wrong in your life you will feel even worse.On the other hand if you force yourself to rise at the usual time,spruce up yourself and follow your daily routine,you will feel much more confident,optimistic,energetic and in control of your life.This is no mean achievement;considering how anxious thoughts are always rearing to pull you down.
Stay active
Since your mind is tilted towards negativity,such thoughts will come rushing in when your body is idle.Staying active is an effective way of curbing them.However,slogging from morning to night is not a good option too,because anxiety can certainly be very tiring.When your day's work is done pick up an engrossing activity or an old hobby.Meet friends,chat with family,organize your belongings,do whatever soothes your mind and body.
Go out,meet people
Anxiety isolates.Perhaps you think that if you go out and meet people they will spot you have changed.Well,they may or may not,but the longer you hole up in your house the more inept you will become at relating to others.So,put your chin up and saunter out.If you meet people,talk to them,ask about their welfare,take an interest in what is happening around you,you will forget your own problems for some time at least.
Find the root cause of your distress
There are many ways of diverting your attention from disturbing thoughts but the bottom line is to pinpoint where they come from:Is it your attitude which is basically pessimistic?Has your past been such that you do not expect anything good to happen to you?Are you short on confidence or self esteem?Is it your health or a relationship which is making you tense?

Try to strengthen the element which is the probable cause of your problems.And don't bash yourself for being this way.Be kind.Circumstances make us who we are and evolution is an ongoing process.Everybody has some weak point or the other.

Problems will come and you will have to solve them,but you will be better able to do this if the burden of distressing thoughts does not sap your energy.
Live in the present
The mind has no barriers of time or space.Sometimes we agonize about what we did or failed to do in the past or fret about what the future has in store for us.This can neither change what happened in the past nor alter the future in any way.It only destroys our peace of mind.That is why psychologists advise us to live in the moment,be mindful of what is around us.If we focus our thoughts on what needs to be done today,how we can improve our present and be mindfully aware of our surroundings we shall feel more at ease.

In case guilt or remorse are your arch-enemy this post will help you find peace.
Release the pressure
Anxiety overwhelms the mind and it is imperative to silence all that noise.Talk about your problems to someone who cares for you or a professional.Merely talking about it will confer enormous relief.

Life is never a bed of roses for anyone.The bad times too,have a utility.They make you stronger and enable you to learn new coping skills.

Secondly,even during the most traumatic times you will still be left with many things to be grateful for:people who care for you,the resources available to you and your own qualities which have always helped you to overcome your difficulties.

Thirdly,life is a dappled path,if you keep looking at the dark spots you shall miss the brighter hues of life.Don't allow one dark spot to darken your sky.

Rationality,positivity,hope and gratitude-these four are infallible companions on this dappled path.Keep a tight hold on them.

Finally,something for you to think about and remember :-
Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.
– Robert Eliot 
Quotes from:
and google search

Saturday, January 26, 2019

#Loneliness-The Latest Epidemic

Loneliness is a hallmark of modern life.Ironically,the more you are connected on social sites the less in real life.Go online and you will be flooded with messages and sermons but not one of them can give you company for a  cup of tea or a heart-to-heart talk.Everybody is so caught up with their work that there is little time to build lasting relationships.We are becoming lonelier by the day.

This is contrary to human nature.There is an inbuilt need for belonging in all of us,a connection with someone who knows us inside out,who will cheer us when we are sad,boost our morale when we are disheartened,and stand by us through thick and thin.But the basic necessities of life take up most of our time and nurturing relationships is unconsciously relegated to the background:relationships not only with family and friends but also with colleagues and neighbors.

Experts say that those who are well connected with others enjoy better physical and mental health.Life is more pleasant and enjoyable for them.Even a major upheaval or tragedy is better tolerated by those who are supported by their family,friends or community.They will bounce back faster.Their relationships assist and motivate them to move forward and achieve their goals.Therefore they are happy and well adjusted.

Loneliness on the other hand creates an aching void in the heart.Those who are lonely feel rejected by society,as if they are not good enough to be associated with.Even if their isolation is because of their own reticence a time may come when there is mounting resentment against others for neglecting them.The longer the period of seclusion,the greater the resentment.And when this anger comes out in unseemly behavior it gives people cause to shun them.Loneliness so impacts social skills that a time comes when they are as wary of approaching others,as other people are of accosting them.Hence it is best to beat loneliness as soon as one begins to feel it's pinch.

Overcoming Loneliness
  • Overcoming loneliness is not difficult at all.Start with the service providers.Say something more to them than you have been saying till now.It could be about their service or the weather or anything else which comes to your mind.My BH asked our postman why he had become so sluggish.He divulged that he was having a kidney problem.He has been ever so cooperative since then.This brief exchange benefited both of them.
  • Frequent places like the market,parks,a club,or your place of worship.
  • See people eye to eye.
  • Be the first to greet them-with a smile of course. 
  • Make it a point to add a bit of small talk when you greet someone.It will convey your conviviality.
  • Connecting with kindred individuals opens up an evolutionary chapter in the arena of relationships.If you are a writer you will have much to talk about with another writer.You won't even have to strain to keep a dialogue going.Similarly with other interests.Look for probable contacts in the areas which interest you.Such relationships are abiding as well as fruitful.
  • Even if your work consumes most of your waking hours save enough time to interact with your family when you return home.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and participate in community affairs. 
Mental health experts affirm that although close,positive relationships are necessary for our general well being,the need for social connectivity varies in different individuals.Some are lonesome by nature and quite happy in their own company.By and large,some basic connections are essential for all to live and perform but even then, relationships are desirable only if they are positive.It is better to be alone rather than in a toxic relationship.

Social connectivity boosts our mental health but mental or emotional problems make it difficult to connect with others.Conscious efforts have to be made to check the impulse to isolate oneself.Even close associates or the loved ones should make it their concern to draw them out,because isolation will further damage their mental health.

Happy,joyous relationships do not fall in the lap,they have to be worked upon.If you want more inclusion,spend quality time with the people in your ambit.Take interest in their lives and listen to what they have to say.Conversely,voice your thoughts;appreciate the good you see in others.Help out and be helped in return.This give and take strengthens bonds and makes life livable.

For more about the benefits of relationships read this post.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Ripple Effects Of #Kindness

Everybody is in a mad rush these days.People are busy chasing their dreams and have no time to notice someone who needs a shoulder to lean on or a hand to pull him up.It is best to be self reliant but there are times when one could do with some help or support.At such times if a kind angel comes along,you could not have asked for a better boon.

It does not take much to be kind.You only need to be aware of your surroundings and be attentive of what a person near you is going through.Just a smile or a hello is enough sometimes,to break the ice or brighten someone's day.Open the door if he has his hands full,help him carry a heavy burden,thank the delivery boy,offer your seat to a feeble person standing near you or allow him to jump the queue if need be.These are very small gestures but they leave a deep impact.I,at least,fondly remember those who were kind to me.

If the kindness bug has bitten you,you can start by giving out things which you no longer need,like your shoes,apparel,old gadgets,utensils,ill-assorted crockery,books and whatever you can think of.You will make life so much easier and more comfortable for someone by doing this.

Even more important than this is,helping someone who is emotionally disturbed.Suppose you see someone deep in thought,obviously depressed,fighting a lone battle to keep his head above the waters;do not walk away,afraid of intruding.Begin with a simple query about his well-being.It will assure him that he is not alone,you care for him and he can share his problem with you.

We often hold back because this kind of a situation is awkward for both the parties.A person who wants help may hesitate to claim your time and attention even if he does trust you,while you yourself might be afraid of breaching his privacy if you butt in.At such times the other person's expressions and body language can help you decide.

If even that is not indication enough,you can start with a cursory exchange which will reveal if he is uptight or opens up.Go ahead even if you are in doubt because it is better to be considered officious rather than callous.When someone is in a quandary an outsider is often better able to gauge the situation and think up a solution.Your initiative could be a life saver for him.So it is better to engage with him instead of walking away.Such interventions can even stave suicides.

It is not the recipient alone who benefits from kind acts.You the doer too,will be rewarded in countless ways.There is an immediate rush of joy and satisfaction at having done a good deed when you help someone.It increases your self worth and reduces anxiety.The warmth of that memory will come back to cheer you up many a times.

Kindness is infectious.Even the recipient of a kind act is empowered to return this good deed when opportunity arises.The onlookers also feel happy to see altruistic behavior in this self obsessed world and may be inspired to behave similarly when they see someone in trouble.In this way you help to make this world a better place by one simple act.There is a surfeit of selfishness in the air today,you can add a lot of warmth and empathy to it.
A curious question:How many kind persons have you met so far?

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