How Adequate is Adequate

 

Adequacy / inadequacy are not physical boundaries but , states of mind , it depends on what you believe . That’s why what is adequate for one may not be so for someone else , similarly what was adequate today , may not be same tomorrow or vice versa

What is a good fashion ?… there is no one all encompassing answer , fitting all . Good fashion for a person is what he / she can carry off comfortably & confidently . That’s why if someone is awkward wearing the most trendiest of clothing , it’s bad fashion for him ; on the other hand if Gandhiji was comfortable moving around in one cloth around his waste , that was most appropriate fashion statement for him .

What is good / appropriate donation in quantum or form , for a person ? Here too there is no ‘ one size fitting all ‘ , nor is there any absolute threshold . To me that ( amount of ) donation / charity is your threshold , which after you give away , you should be able to ( mentally ) give up . A good donation for you needs to fulfill following criteria :

  • It should not create a feeling of ‘ loss ‘
  • It should not create a sense of ‘ ownership ‘ … it is that amount which should not make you ‘ follow through ‘ to see what use the receiver is putting it  to … it no longer belonged to you
  • It should not create a sense of inflated ego of having done a huge favour ( & in turn to expect the receiver to be ‘ indebted ‘ to you )
  • It should not create / retain any ‘ attachment ‘ . Your satisfaction / happiness should come from the fact that you did what you wanted to for a good cause , your attachment ended there …. What the receiver does with it is neither under your control nor should be your concern . You should neither have a judgment on how ‘ appropriately ‘ the receiver is using it nor should it make you unhappy , even if you think he/ she is ‘ misusing ‘ your generosity or even is ‘ disrespecting ‘  your gift .
  • Overall once done , you should be able to forget the details of the ‘ good deed ‘ you did . It should not prompt you to flaunt your  ‘ generosity ‘ at any possible forum / opportunity . You should be able to sleep peacefully without a thought about what is / will happen to the object of ‘ your charity ‘ .
  • For any donation / charity where above criteria are not likely to be fulfilled , you are better off without donating .

Similar is the case for investment . Your capacity to invest is not defined by your affordability or the accumulated wealth , but by your ability to ‘ carry off ‘ the investment in amount & form . That amount is appropriate for you , which after investing ( God forbid not , but should it happen ) if you happen to lose , you should have the capacity to gather yourself up & stand on your feet … you should be able to take that knock without collapsing .

Finally if you have the nature to help people ( family , friends , colleagues ) by putting in your efforts ; you need to know  , what is your ‘ natural capacity ‘ to help — to what extent you can go in helping . Here are the criteria :

  • Exert only up to the level you can enjoy doing that work , that it does not become physical or mental burden on you
  • That you can do out of free will & not as a ‘ transaction ‘ or as a ‘ deal ‘ , not even as an investment … something you’ll not be prompted to measure ROI on
  • That it does not create an expectation of ‘ reciprocity ‘ in your mind ( I did so much for him / her , I should get at least this much back )
  • Your work is an expression of what you desired to do … it’s valuable & fulfillment in itself … not in comparison to someone . The quantum & quality of your work therefore is not influenced by what someone else is doing / not doing in comparison . If / at any point the comparisons are creating discomfort to lose your mental equilibrium , especially creating a feeling of  ‘ unequal ’ work sharing — at the point work starts becoming a burden instead of joy – you should not extend the help you feel is a load on you .
  • That if that person reciprocates , you feel good for the good nature of that person & not because he / she reciprocated in acknowledgement of your ‘ good work ‘
  • It should not create / retain any ‘ attachment ‘ . Your satisfaction / happiness should come from the fact that you did what you wanted to for a good cause , your attachment ended there …. How the receiver sees it ,is neither under your control nor should be your concern . You should neither have a judgment on how appropriately the receiver ‘ responded ‘ or whether he / she remembered what you did . In fact , like a good donation , good social work should be invisible . His / her response should not make any difference to your decision to help ,in retrospect.
  • Overall once done , you should be able to forget the details of the ‘ good deed ‘ you did . It should not prompt you to flaunt your  ‘ help ‘ at any possible forum /opportunity . It should not create an overt expectation or a secret yearning for public or private acknowledgment

Respondinig v/s Reacting

 

  • We tend to instinctively react to almost anything …. without delay & many times without thinking , though we many not be as quick & good in responding to others
  • The difference is that while reactions happen like a reflex action — almost in a pre-programmed way , Responding needs some thinking  & thinking as we know can be demanding .
  • Reaction can be mostly ‘ external ‘ / surface behaviour , corresponding to some external triggers , whereas responding is an ‘ internal ‘ process , it may not always be triggered externally .
  • Since these trigger induced reactions are deep seated in our minds , in most cases we neither are consciously aware , nor have a direct control on . As a result some of our reactions may not be as we’d have intended ( were we to think about ) & hence may not be serving ‘ our purpose ‘ . Responses on the other hand can be a directed process , well deliberated as against a reaction which can be ‘ involuntary ‘
  • Reacting has to do with our past ; hence it can’t be a mechanism to be in the present , whereas responding can be in cognizance of its possible future impact .
  • Our set of values / beliefs  prompts our triggers & reactions .
    • Greater awareness helps in being conscious of these patterns & affords us an opportunity to think about & choose to retain / modify / drop our reaction .
  • Responding is a thoughtful process . It involves a mix of instinct / intellect / intuition . Processing of our experience , circumstances , our nature & acquired related knowledge is involved in Our response .

Holding a Perspective

  • Perspective is a way of looking at things , each one has his / her own . This essentially means
    • You see what you believe . How you perceive things is as much an ‘ internal ‘ event — views you hold , as is external — due to circumstances . Some times reality as in circumstances can aid awareness or even shift of a perspective .
    • It’s like wearing coloured glasses , many times without being conscious about it
  • While each one is entitled to his / her own viewpoint . Problem is not in holding a perspective very different from other , but not being aware & respectful of a fact that some other reality ( some body else’s view point ) can exist as legitimately as is yours to you .
    • There is no harm holding our convictions , as long as that does not limit us to believe that , ours is the only / correct way ….. there may be many different ways of looking at the same thing & all can be valid
  • Without diluting one’s convictions , it’s important to periodically review & challenge our own perspective on anything . Just as perspectives can vary across different minds , they are likely to vary across time periods for the same person on the same issue . Our convictions need not blind us to this , in fact convictions can be a result of this review
  • Creating awareness about one’s own perspective & encouraging a shift where necessary is a key task in coaching .
    • Reframing –Shift in perspective – is about bringing in the consciousness that there can be many ways , beyond our way of thinking – which is a liberation of sorts by helping opening up of mind .
  • Not always , but sometimes our perspective can be limiting our thinking or options . Hence sometimes when we feel stuck or not being helped , it may actually be a perspective which is disempowering ; it’s useful to ascertain that , to open ourselves to more possibilities .
  • What is important in case of a perspective is not whether in itself it can be right or wrong but whether it does / how does it help its holder towards his / her objective