Helping others means helping yourself
Our readers feel that every small act of help and good deed does much good to the person who receives it as well as to the one who does it
I have helped lots of strangers. In 2011, I tried to help a poor girl of Swoyambhu, but her family and other people accused me of trying to sell her in India. In 2014, I tried to help a boy in his studies but his mother accused me of having beaten him. Then I tried to help beggar in New Baneswor, but he was crazy. He tried to make me look inferior. So I kept distance from him. Then I tried to help some old poor people. But again they were very suspicious that I was trying to misuse them.
Dear Editor, the time we are going through is very tough and confused. People are poor and illiterate, but very smart nowadays. “Valai ko to zamana nai rahena” (It is not a time for good deeds). If you love your loved ones, then teach them to mind their own business. Otherwise, the suspicious poor Nepali people will make your life miserable. 21st Century Zindabad!
In 2016, I decided to come to Nepal since this fascinating country had been attracting me for a long time. I was aware that Nepal ranges among the world‘s poorest countries and therefore, I decided to share my privileges, helping to improve the situation for the weakest of our society — our children. I decided to support the orphanage at the New Nepal Social Center in Kathmandu, where around 70 children between three and 16 years find a place to stay. They are given the possibility of education by attending school. Education is everything. Besides daily activities, giving English lessons and playing with the children, I helped in painting the bed frames and the insides of the rooms. As much as the children can learn from me, I can learn from them in terms of friendliness, creativity and gratitude. It is such a great experience seeing how small contributions can make the difference in children’s life.
— Franziska Dietel, Fürth/ Germany
There are so many people who have contributed to the welfare of the people and the nation. But we are unknowingly helping as well as hurting people around us, some we may not even know. Our activities impact others’ life either in a positive way or negative. There many times when I help as well as hurt others, like when we read loudly then our voice may disturb some, while some may learn by listening.
— Mukesh Kumar Fauzdar, Adalat Chowk-5, Kalaiya
Being an MSW student in TU, I have been a part of many NGOs since my Bachelor-level days and have been working efficiently to bring changes in people’s lives, which I believe is very difficult and at times we don’t get expected results.
I once took a course at Art of Living where we were taught that we can make difference in people’s life only when we have positivity within ourself. I am a straightforward person, which often puts me in unwanted situations either with family and friends or at work. Staying positive and spreading smiles is the best way one can bring about changes in people’s lives, is what I believe.
— Shradha Neupane, Chabahil, Mahankal Panitanki
I was travelling to my village and a lady of my age was sitting beside me. I started a conversation with her through which I came to know that she was unable to concentrate in her studies because of her family. She was unable to secure the marks she used to in her junior classes. So, I gave her some tips about learning and memorising. She promised to do it from that day itself. After a year, I came to know she was a relative of mine and that she had made lots of progress in her studies and wanted to thank me for the moral support.
— Prakriti Ghimire, Masbar, Pokhara-7
On December 3, 2016, we the students of Motherland went for the Birthday Bank Campaign in Lahachowk VDC to help needy children. The Birthday Bank Campaign collects a sum of money to help those in need instead of wasting it on chocolate and cakes. In the beginning, I had assumed this event to be useless, but when I reached there I realised that I was wrong. When I was distributing academic materials, the smiling faces of the children infused in me the thought that small efforts can also be a source to enlighten and bring about a big difference in life.
— Deepa Adhikari, Pokhara
Honestly I really haven’t contributed in anyone’s life in such a manner that it changed their life. But I have I delivered some things to the poor and disabled.
I would like to make such a contribution in someone’s life because of which that person will think as well as feel that I have done something needful in the real sense. I love helping, supporting, caring for and offering people who are in need of someone’s company. What I want to also say is that to do something for someone for a specific reason does not mean we are trying show off.
— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor
I have not done anything big for people to improve their life, but I always helped friends in different ways. I have fed the mouth that talked rubbish about me. I have picked up people that have tried to knock me down. I have wiped tears off faces of people that have caused mine. I have done favours for people who can do nothing for me. I have been there for people that have not been there for me. Sometimes I think I am crazy but I will not lose myself in the hatred of others; I continue to be me because, I am who I am and that is my nature. Life is not easy but I will still be here, being me.
— Saugat Thapa, Lubhoo-5, Lalitpur
Helping hands is holier than praying lips. I believe helping does not only mean financially. Though I am not rich, I have helped needy persons, physically. I have helped many times by donating blood.
I donated blood for the first time when I was 18 and have donated four times since. I was afraid when I first donated blood. I always donate blood by cheating my family because they think that donating blood has negative impacts on one’s health. I am very happy when I do that though I do not know who benefits from my contribution.
— Mandeep Sagar, Jeetpur
I don’t think I have done anything big for others. If I had, I would have become famous. But I have always tried to help others. I am optimistic and I want to make people happy. As a daughter, I am obedient to my parents, as a sister I give love and care to my youngsters, as a student, I am hardworking and sincere to my teachers, as a friend I am frank, cheerful, helpful, sharing and have a caring attitude, as a citizen, I am honest, responsible and dutiful. I am generous and kind to everyone and treat them well. I write for magazines and newspaper against discrimination and for human freedom. Whenever any dispute arises, I try to solve the matter.
— Anusha Shreshta
Being the Environmental Club member of Pathshala School, I am aware about the environmental issues in the world. I have collected plastics, wrappers and other waste thrown outside my house by others and separated them into degradable and nondegradable piles. The nondegradable ones were then thrown in dustbin, and I used the degradable ones in my kitchen garden. On one hand, the environment was cleaned, on the other hand my kitchen garden could get good compost manure.
— Tulip Gyawali, Minbhawan, Kathmandu
Everyday when I wake up, I think of changing something and giving the best of me. Real happiness lies not in physical or materialistic things, but lies in other’s happiness. As a teacher I often give motivational speeches to my students. They feel emotional whenever they listen to my speeches. My speech being realistic, they all get goosebumps. One of my students, who lost his parents in the earthquake in 2015, got so affected by my speech that he started meditation on my request and overcame depression.
— Arjan Acharya, Butwal
In gap after my Class XII exams, I was too bored to stay home, so I started exercising and reading novels. After a few months when my family saw the drastic change in my body and health, they started asking the reason. When I told them that it was all because of the daily exercise, everyone — brother, sister, mother, brother-in-law — started exercising. Whenever they need help regarding exercise, they ask me. And after the changes in the weight of our family members everyone in the neighbourhood are also getting attracted to exercise.
— Susmita Thapa, Besigaun
I always want to contribute for others in such a way that my small help brings a smile on people’s faces. Whenever I go to the temple, I don’t think it is good to worship god with different delicious sweets, milk and money; rather it would be better to donate to the needy — this is the real religious and righteous act.
We see people who are just blind followers of religion indulging in racial discrimination. I have always spoken against of such discrimination. One of my friends, who is from the so-called lower caste, was restricted from entering my house because my father is the so-called Brahmin. I always inspired him to condemn old rituals and to work hard; today he is a successful government lawyer and now nobody dare speak against him.
I don’t claim that I have done something great to make a major change or huge impact in other’s life. But I have done volunteer work in school after I was done with my Plus-two. After my Class XII exams, I got an opportunity to work as a volunteer intern teacher at a school. I loved that phase of my life because I could contribute something to society. I felt proud that I could put my small effort in the field of education, a bulwark of development.
— Prapti Sharma, Minbhawan
There was a poor student in my neighbourhood. He had no money to buy books and other necessary materials for his studies. He used to come to my house seeking help. So, I guided him in his studies and I helped him with some finance. Finally he got through his examinations.
We don’t get anything from such activities but it makes our soul happy. There are a lot of persons such as Florence Nightingale, who sacrificed their life for others; they never expected any pay back for their work. Sometime our advice or tiny help may drastically change people’s life. Our help may be a boon for others.
— Kamal Kanta Dhungel, Jhapa
Once I got a chance to help a boy. He had failed in English in SLC exams. One day he told me, “I failed in English. I cannot pass in this subject. I am very weak in English. There is no one with who I can take tuition, and the tuition centre is also far from my home, so I cannot make a time for this.” Then I convinced him not to worry. I managed my time to teach him English for an hour every evening. He gradually improved and he passed English with good marks. He thanked me with a happy face and I was greatly pleased.
— Bishwo Raj Moktan, Padampokhari-5, Hetaunda
“Every drop of water can help in making a huge ocean.” Believing in that philosophy, I have always tried to make some contribution for others who are in need. Be it a big or small, I believe something is better than nothing. So, if you are doing something good for others, it definitely has a positive impact on their lives and there are many instances where my small contributions have helped people in a positive way. But I don’t like to say that I have done this or that because my motto in life is — if you are doing something good for others, then it should be done in a selfless way, not in a way to gain publicity or popularity; if you do that just to gain popularity, then it is nothing but a publicity stunt to be popular.
— Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur
I have met people who have made contributions to improve the lives of other people in society. These people have inspired me to do something good in life. I still remember a deaf-and-dumb couple who had approached me a few years ago asking me to arrange for free admission of their daughters in a local English-medium school. They had wanted to change their daughters’ school from the current one as they had to pay the full tuition fee there which was making it difficult to run their life. I talked to the founder-director of the school about the family and made an arrangement for the meeting in which their daughters helped them communicate by translating the sign language of their parents. The director instantly gave a positive nod and promised scholarship that would continue until they completed their high school. Although the family was not strangers to me, I feel happy for the couple that their daughters’ school education is guaranteed with my little effort.
— Deepak Shrestha, Nakhipot, Lalitpur-14
The only way I found to contribute to society as been to provide some financial support to needy girl students to complete their education. To me women are the building blocks of any society and it is our duty to see that they complete their education and live a life of economic independence, confidence and dignity. A society prejudiced against women can never prosper. I humbly beg all to take this opportunity to help a girl complete her education to build our nation. This is my little effort based on my limited abilities; I beg others who could afford to do the same. This according to me is one of the most important positive changes that we could add to our society.
— Saikat Kumar Basu, Lethbridge AB Canada
Just days ago I saved an engineer some blushes by fishing out a sugar sachet he had dropped in his coffee. The chap did not know he had to tear the sachet and empty the sugar. Just imagine, he is the brain behind a proposed 8 MW power project in Sindhupalchowk! My other small acts include a busser job to a Jyapu youth, whose seven generations stayed in our family home for free. Today he has a big house in swanky Kamalbinayak and a liquor wholesale business. A Tamang boy, who was more of an additional family member than my domestic help, is today a manager in a restaurant in bustling Boudhanath. Both these fine men thank me profusely every time I bump into them.
Other beneficiaries, who are not so grateful, of my largesse include a Karki, a Choudhary, a Bhattarai, a Lama and a Gurung for all of whom I have been an alchemist. This does not include monetary and intellectual assistance to scores of ungrateful ones who are today doing much better than me. Some of them used to come home to borrow my bolo tie, Walkman, Handycam, my Toyota sports, splash my Paco Rabanne and drink my Scotch which only a lucky few had access to in those days. I still remember a family doctor asking for half a dozen bottles of Johnny Walker Black in lieu of his fees which was 100 rupees or so then. What I find amusing is that these people talk today as if they were born with Scotch and lotion and Walkman and Toyota in their hands. Talk about good deeds to ungrateful Nepalis!
— Manohar Shrestha
Helping a stranger is a big deal because we are told and taught by our elders how bad people cheat us in the name of help. And, we don’t only hear but many experience such bitter situations, especially when we are travelling in highways, people stop us for help, act innocent and later they turn out to be highway robbers.
I have never pushed myself to help strangers but once I got a chance to help an old lady: it was at Pashupati when I had gone there with my family. While climbing the stairs towards the main gate towards the exit, an old lady suddenly held my hand and gestured me to help her climb the stairs. We climbed together and when we reached the end, she gave me a wide, beautiful and delightful smile. The feeling I got at that moment is unexplainable. It gave me peace and happiness and touched my soul. So I can think of people who spend their life helping people whom they don’t even know and who may not even make any difference in their lives.
Not a long ago I was waiting for my sister to arrive at Jadubuti. The cold weather and dusky evening was irritating me. Suddenly there came a young girl of around 10 years and asked me for 10 rupees. I said I don’t have money. She insisted me to give her five rupees. I asked her why she was in need of money and she said she wanted to have a biscuit. I avoided her. My younger sister arrived. That child was still asking for money. I felt pity for her and asked my sister to lend me change. When we gave her the money, she actually bought a biscuit and started sharing with two smaller children. That moment I realised sometimes you need to help others. It will make your soul and needy person’s heart happy.
— Grishma Bhattarai
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Any wedding is all about the bride and groom getting married and sharing their love and commitment with those around them. But wedding ceremonies also mean rituals, feasts, guest satisfaction that extend for a number of days, and are elaborate and everyone is just too occupied. What is the value of a wedding ceremony for you? What kind of wedding do you want/ or have done — a short and quiet ceremony, or an elaborate one? Why?
Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, January 27 by 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: email@example.com