Nobel prize winner Mohammad Yunus once said, “Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society – how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”
With quotes like these many of us despair about thinking of our own situation, and we feel guilty about not doing enough to help others. But George Gissing words should put caution into such thinking. He said, “That is one of the bitter curses of poverty; it leaves no right to be generous.”
A drowning man cannot save others who are drowning. First we have to learn to swim only then can we help others who are drowning. This is why nobody should feel guilty of first taking care of his or her emotional, financial, spiritual, and physical needs. Self-care is like a force-multiplier. It allows us to be more effective in what we do. Without self-care we will end up spinning our wheels and then finally end in a ditch waiting to be rescued ourselves.
The beauty of modern society is that it is structured in a way that when we do regular jobs honestly and effeciently, we are already contributing to the common good. Rather than doing charity some of us can spend time putting our energy in shaping social structures so that charity itself can become redundant.
The key for both society and individuals is to learn to stay away from greed and excess. Patanjali’s yoga system is specifically designed for just that. It helps build a sound society from the inside out. As the mind-body system calms down and the ego comes in check, greed and selfishness are replaced with love. Self-care is an essential part of the system. You start with yourself first by following the eight limbs of yoga. Then as love blooms in your life the rest follows in a natural process of unfolding.
It would be appropriate to end this post with the following two quotes:
“The most treasured and sacred moments of our lives are those filled with the spirit of love. The greater the measure of our love, the greater is our joy. In the end, the development of such love is the true measure of success in life.” ― Joseph B Wirthlin
“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.” ― Mother Teresa
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