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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.

8 Responses to “Beyond I,Me,Mine,We,Us,Ours”

  1. Jones

    Hi there…to all who is reading this blog as pursuing it…

    It was a great time we spent on Saturday last, listening to Rahul (and of course, at times, interacting ). Well, I did mention his gesture was so well taken and I did mean it. Forsaking a weekend when one would love to be with his dear ones, spending time off after a worked out Friday and above all, for agreeing to and wilfully participating in this cause, it was indeed a gesture we do not find common these days…the conflicts that worked it’s way in his mind is reminiscent of the wars within…that we face every single day of our life…

    …and was the session good? Fantastic…as much for it’s AGILE content as much as the testing space and the individual! Kudos to you!

    Biju, of course, and a small team he coordinated during the last couple of months, deserve praise! …it could have been much more…perhaps a lot of people that read the fliers…but the 40 individuals who took it upon themselves to part with a portion of their hard earned money… to listen to a lovely individual (I do not have to speak much on his technical side) and be willing for a good cause….that made the day, worth!!

    The desire for good deeds is implanted in each of our hearts…it is our authority on our circumstances, especially the conflicts within, that determine the deed!

    I wish each and every one that reads this will realise that of paramount importance is our willingness to leave a mark for others to follow…and each individual that was present on the Saturday, did!!

    …I guess the one thing this whole discussion could see us doing more of… is to ‘see’ the beggar on the street…the sick that know they may not live another day…the hurting soul that yearns for a healing touch or maybe a consoling word…the one that wishes he too could exercise his taste buds…the mother that has to see her child losing out to the selfishness of the world…and the list goes on…

    God bless you all at the reading of this…
    Jones

  2. Sarith

    We are praising you for coming to Trivandrum for a social cause ;-)
    Thanks Rahul…

  3. Rahul Verma

    @Jones,

    >>>The desire for good deeds is implanted in each of our hearts…it is our authority on our circumstances, especially the conflicts within, that determine the deed!

    Thanks for coming by and adding beautiful thoughts to the thread. There is a very important message in your comment and I hope the readers of this blog, including me, act on that.

  4. Rahul Verma

    @Sarith,

    Thanks. Let’s do it again.

  5. Anuj Magazine

    Based on my past experiences, i got to learn quite early that Giving is done ideally when one is ready to let go of things (material) that are dear to one to someone for the benefit of those who are more needy. More often the Giving is associated with getting rid of things that of no use personally. I realized that there is a difference between Giving for the sake of giving and Giving from the heart. Whatever initial thoughts you went through, i think the very decision that you chose to travel and give your best is a proof enough that your believed in the cause.
    One more thought/instance that i got reminded of was one of the session i attended by Dr. Vivek Mansingh, Then Country Head, Dell India R&D Center. He himself is a very eloquent speaker. In that session, he shared that he charges a higher price for his Workshop and public presentation. He reasoning was that whatever he earns from this medium he donates it for the public cause he supports and believes in.
    I think you have initiated a praise-worthy precedent for our profession. Kudos to you!

  6. Rahul Verma

    @Anuj,

    Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts.

    I agree to your note that charity is not *just* about donating things which we were anyways going to throw off. I am using the word ‘just’ because it is still better to donate them rather than throwing them off. But then it’s not something to feel proud of and be satisfied about.

    I’m thinking that for the meetups and peer conferences, we can charge a little extra per person and donate that money. E.g. for the monthly meetups, we could keep a minimal amount, say Rs 50 or 100. The intention behind charging this money should be expressed clearly.

  7. Anuj Magazine

    I agree and second your thoughts on having a reasonable sum for meetups and peer conferences. May have quarterly dedicated conferences the proceeds of which can be used to uplift the needy. Before that its apt to agree on cause that our community could support for a long time.
    I am all for it!

    Regards,
    Anuj

  8. Srinivas Kadiyala

    Hi Rahul,

    I am the late to read this.But It was impressive and good to know about the way – you have done.

    Kudos to Parimala, Pradeep and Vipul Kocher.

    Great things to learn from you all…

    Regards,
    Srinivas Kadiyala
    @srinivasskc

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