Thursday, July 2, 2009

Avoid accepting others' problems

I read an article by M.R.Kopmeyer that a man in a lunatic asylum was found pushing the wheelbarrow turned upside down. When asked for the reason for doing so, he quipped “I am no crack to allow others to put their rubbish in my wheelbarrow” This doesn’t seem to be the answer from an insane man. It looks a very intelligent and well thought out response.If only we care to look around including ourselves, we would find we are all moving around with our wheelbarrows open for others to dump their problems and worries on us. It is a human tendency to pass on the problems and jobs that have to be met or done by them to others. As long as there are willing persons to hear them out, the problems are invariably and gladly pushed by others.
It is a natural tendency for us to feel important if someone seeks our willing ears to listen to their woes. We may be aware that we are not in a position to solve every problem of others and yet out of politeness and social courtesy or due to ego, we get involved. We have trouble in saying NO because we do not wish to disappoint someone or trying to be nice. If we do this, we would find ourselves over stressed or failing in our promises. We must learn to be firm and say “No, thanks I have no solution to this problem of yours” There is no need to enter into lengthy explanations. Never say “I will try or let me see”. This refusal can be done without rudeness.
There may be genuine cases where we would wish to reach out.If you wish to help out, think about the time and energy required. There is no point in promising what is doubtful or cannot be accomplished. Be selective in helping out depending upon the merits of the case. If you say yes every time you are asked to help out, people may take you for granted and burden you with their work. There is no need to feel guilty in refusing as you have your responsibilities and goals to take care of.
Our strategy should be to keep the wheel barrow upside down and choose what and whose contents it would carry to keep it manageable.


  1. A thought-provoking post. What we must remember is the balance: we should not let others rule our lives and we should not think only about ourselves.

    If we can help others, why not? If we cannot help, we can at least pray for them. That in itself is a big help: a heart-felt prayer.

    Best wishes :)

  2. Interesting post. In this age of stress filled life , there is a greater need for good, self-less,caring souls to lend an ear to other's problems. Much depends on the stage of life a person is in. one should set aside some time daily for the people in need. A word of cheer can save a life. we see the need for many help-lines these days. we are all the children of God. If only we can bring a smile on a child's face, connect with a person's heart- money does not always bring happiness.Like our friend Ayesha said We can Pray.

  3. I am not too sure how to react to this post. I have always thought that saying a no to whomsoever without trying for it first is selfishness. But yes, selfless help also has resulted in me being taken for granted.. there is no marked line between the two!