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366. 'I Cannot Accept What I Have Not Earned'

Man yearns for luck which is an undeserved reward. It never comes. When it sails towards him he is a foot off the ground. 'I cannot accept what I have not earned' is an oft-heard remark in the life of the Western individual. People not aware of their cultural moorings offend Westerners by offering gifts they do not seek. There is no greater hallmark of self-respect or individuality. It is exceedingly good. As usual it is not the only truth. There is the other side to it. Ours is a different culture. It is our privilege to support needy members of the family without their soliciting it. We understand it is an expansive act of right attitude. We are offended when our friends do not come to our help at a crucial moment. When your rivals set a bully on you and he confronts you on the road, abuses you and threatens you, how would you feel if your friend moves out of earshot because it is your personal affair and he cannot interfere? We are not brought up that way.

There is the other side to it also. When you are helped each time a help is required, you lose the capacity to stand on your own legs. Thus no individuality is formed. You remain forever a dependent, a useless member of a useless community. This too sounds true. If so, what is the Truth? Both are true, and both are not true because both are partial truths. One way of solving the problem is to understand that there are no eternal values valid in all cultures but cultural values valid locally. So, what is valid for others is not valid for us. That is common sense. It will serve us well. There is more than meets the eyes. Behind different cultural values lies a lasting value, valid in all cultures and at all times. It is a spiritual value. The Spirit desires to help the needy who seek help on their own initiative.

Man exercising physically learns that when he accepts help - what he has not earned - he becomes weak and inefficient. Such wisdom rightly denies help from outside. Having come out of the physical, Man lives a vital social life where everyone needs to help another. That fortifies his collective life that is far superior to his individual efficiency. It reduces to the attitude of receiving help or offering help. Mercenary expectation is unhealthy even as vain generosity that offends. True generosity is noble and should be accepted with gratitude. Capacity to receive help magnanimously is of greater value than helping others. It needs a sweeter temperament to pleasantly receive what is offered with affection than to offer help to others.

story | by Dr. Radut