We are all familiar with people who ask too many questions. Whether the school nerd or the nosy (and noisy!) neighbour, there is only so much we can put up with. But this post is not about them. This post is about many righteous good people who ask too less. Not just ask questions, but ask for help in general. Because many times, asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness. The misconception backing this thought is, “I want to be seen/known as a self-made individual.”
But we have got to where we are today, both collectively and individually, only by standing on the shoulders of giants of yore. There are phones with 12 GB RAM today, while entire computers from 3 decades ago barely had 12 MB! We would not have flat screen TVs, if someone hadn’t invented a black & white TV in the first place. The very phrase ‘let’s not reinvent the wheel’ presupposes efforts already put in by several others in the past, using which alone, we are here today.
What often stops the aforementioned righteous folks, is their perceived inability to pay back. The fact of the matter is, we will always be indebted to countless others for many things – at work or otherwise. Our parents for bringing us up, our teachers (and specifically the Guru) for imparting their knowledge, our employers and bosses for recognising our potential and enabling us to grow and likewise for friends, family and others. Therefore, it is impossible to pay everyone back. What we can do, and must do though, is to pay forward. Realising how much we have got, we can try to spread the joy, maybe put in a good word for a colleague, offer counselling / mentoring for students from our alma maters, provide books to the local libraries for free, impart our talents / skills to those around us, among other things.
Once we realise that paying forward is just as good as or better than paying back – we will try to gain the most from others, for selfless purposes, and then selflessly distribute forward. Important to remember, that when we pay forward, we too must expect nothing in return, exactly as those who did for us and brought us to this point.