Help Yourself By Helping Others

Posted on May 1, 2011 in Specials

By Shanthi Swaroop:

“What’s the need to do social service or to join politics? Can’t they look after their own? What’s there in it for me?” You probably would have heard these kinds of statements a lot. Some people might just say “I do it for my self-satisfaction. I just want to see smiles on others faces“. But as the only species on Earth that can think logically, will the answers pertaining to heart be enough to suffice the reasoning of the brain? After all, we have evolved from primates based on our basic instinct i.e., the survival of the fittest, where survival of oneself is far more important than anything else. Then, how can anyone stand the reasoning which asks us to help others by spending a part of our time and resources? For all you people who support this view, I have only one thing to say “Help yourself by helping others.”


You might wonder how it helps you if you help others. Isn’t it pretty obvious that you can live better in a developed Nation Y, where luxuries are basic needs, than in an underdeveloped Nation X, where even basic needs aren’t satisfied? Wouldn’t you work a bit more harder if it was possible to make X into Y and thus have a better life? What fun would it be if you were to give up even without trying making X into Y and choose to remain stagnant, which would be totally against the law of evolution? Wouldn’t you commend someone who tries to help you, and then why not help yourself?

Let me give you some examples from our daily life which will make it clearer. Let’s say, if you want to go to a place A from a place B in the same city and it takes at least 2 hours to travel keeping in mind all the traffic and waiting time, if its via a public transport system. What if the previous generation was more socially active and made the government build better roads and provide a better public transport system? The travel time would have definitely come down by at least 30 minutes and may be even an hour also. Well all isn’t lost yet; you can definitely travel much more conveniently and faster after 10-15 years if you can act now and make the government work for you.

If you aren’t satisfied with the previous example, let me give you another example. Every one of us will obviously want to study in the best of schools and colleges there is. What if the universities we perceive as best in our country are nowhere near the best universities in the world? We, Indians have been flocking the US universities for one main reason, they are far better than any of our Indian universities. Even though we are credited for being one of the most intelligent nations in the world; except for a few, most of us are studying in second rated universities for major part of our education period. Thus, wasting a part of our potential just because we didn’t care how our national education policy is. But what if our universities were better? No, not just better, what if they were the best universities in the world? We could have had the best education in the world and use our mind’s potential to the fullest. Then, why not work towards a better educational system at all levels and get a better quality and quantity education. Mind you, the better educated the nation is, the more developed it will become.

Still not satisfied? Okay, no problem. Let me try one more time. Ever had a power cut during one of your favourite games/serials on TV or during work/social networking on your computer and prayed to god that you would do almost anything to get the power back? Ever wondered what you can possibly do to have your fan/AC working by avoiding a power cut during the gruelling Indian summers? We could have avoided all of this, only if our government had completed all the electricity projects on time and thus use the saved resources for providing even more infrastructure. Only if we had made the government more accountable, it would have completed the projects in time. Then, why not work towards changing the scenario and make the government more accountable and thus help yourself?

You might be thinking, doing all this is just a big drag. Well, it is not. There are people who are ready to make an extra effort for both you and themselves. All you need to do is to just support them. And how it is to be done? Simple, vote for the good and honest guys, reject the corrupt ones and thus forming a better and working government for you. Also a Rs 100 saved out of your pocket/month shouldn’t be really much of a big deal for you. But on those simple savings of many, NGOs can totally change the face of many villages. If you are the one who’s willing to take up the extra effort, then you are surely laudable So, Lets help others for helping ourselves.