I had a strange experience yesterday. I visited Trivandrum, Kerala to deliver a workshop on Agile Testing, the revenue from which would be donated for a cancer patient at a local hospital there. To confess, I didn’t know how I am going to feel about it. At times, there was a strange hesitation inside me which asked me not to do it. And this came back over and over to me in the 2 months period between the day I said yes to it and yesterday. The hesitation was more on the lines of “Why should I?”, “Why did I…”, “It would be a tough day…”, “How can I be sure that the money would reach right hands…?”
How do I feel now? I feel happy and relaxed. I feel peace. I realize that this feeling is going to be shortlived, but I want to enjoy this while it lasts!
While Jones was announcing there that I haven’t charged anything for it, I am so great etc., I was laughing at myself. I loved the image of me which was being created there. The truth is that I am a very selfish person. Most of the times, I am thinking about me, myself, my family, our needs, how I can get more money to support myself and my family, how I can afford a flat in Bangalore and what I should do about it and so on. No charity thoughts come to my mind.
If someone is to be thanked, it is Biju Abaraham and his team. They felt for the poor patient. They worked on the detail of how he can be helped. They contacted me. I don’t know why I said yes, but I did (Thank God!). I was won over by their hospitality – its openness, informal nature, friendliness. And yes! Trivandrum is a beautiful place, one of the places where I would like to be when I retire.
I would have not done this at all because I am so stuck up with myself, that I don’t think about the world. If at this moment I think, is there atleast one person in the world whom I can help, what is the probability of getting a negative answer? The point is that I never ask that question. This workshop has generated a good amount, thanks to all people who registered and paid for it. The question is do I have the courage to withdraw the same amount from my bank and donate? Oh! I don’t see a positive vibe coming from my heart.
Parimala had donated Rs 25,000/- from her pocket for Chandru. I didn’t have the guts to do that. I can recall the amount of effort and passion Pradeep Soundararajan and his team put into all of this. Another example is Vipul Kocher who puts people before business. There are various stories I can relate about how he has helped people. In the long run, when I am retired, I might forget all details, and daily nonsense, but I am never going to forget these people. They are great human beings. They are the people about whom I would talk about to my son, when he’s grown up.
Donating one’s own money is not the only way to charity. What Biju did is a great thing. You know you want to help someone, so how to scale it up? I’m sure if I had refused, he would have contacted some else, or tried something else. He invested time, energy, patience, effort and made it a success. What I have learned from him is that there are intelligent ways of doing charity. Hopefully, I apply this lesson and do something similar.
What I did yesterday had reflections of Vipul , Pradeep and Parimala in me. I think that it wasn’t me who did this at all. It’s these people who controlled my mind throughout, although they didn’t know about this event. I’m blessed to have known them.
I do not belong to this league of people. I hope that someday I will. When I do, praise me as much as you want ( or even more ) because I would deserve it.