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Problem, Your Thoughts are Welcome

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Harry Haller, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Gurfatehji,

    At 4am this morning, just as the cat was making himself comfortable on my head, I noticed my wife, Sian, was awake, this is not normal, although I am an insomniac, my wife is not. My legs were bent to avoid Dan who was asleep deep within the bed, and I could see Alfie's tail behind Sian's head, she looked at me, 'isnt this great, all of us in bed all cuddled up'. The familiar hissing noise meant that one animal, had just broken wind, depending on which animal it was, sanctuary lay either in hiding in the bed, or staying out, a wrong decision could be costly, I chose hiding under the bed, it was the wrong decision, but I digress

    The problem as my wife informed me was that an associate of hers was about to be made homeless, and she wished to offer a room in our house for a while, I would point out that We have made many such gestures in the past, both financially and in respect of other assistance, and it has left us both broke and tired, and having to borrow from my parents. My thoughts are an absolute 'no', no more helping people until we are both back on our feet again, and we are not working 60-70 hour weeks. However, she feels that we should do something, but I feel another drain coming on our already dwindling resources,

    thoughts please thank you
     
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  3. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Harry Ji,

    I don't have a solution to offer, but I do have a perspective, and its my mamas.

    She always talks about "dhana pani"... uhhh... "grain water". How God pretty much plans out every meal you'll ever have before you even get here. And through this excuse or that, this convuluted plan or that, each person is fed the meal they're supposed to be fed, at the hands of the person they're supposed to be fed from.

    About two years ago, my older brother left abruptly for another province... we started to clear out his room b/c he'd gone for work (to get some sort of license)... and about two days later, through relatives a student showed up at my parent's door. and he lived in that room for two years. almost as if the room had been cleared for him without any of us really knowing.

    As for the money, I know the pressure of it sucks but if you're doing a good deed, surely there will be things arranged for you. the only thing: perhaps set up some ground rules so you don't get taken advantage of. you should offer help to the point where the person is able to help themself... there's no need to be breaking your back if the person receiving help is either 1)ungrateful 2)unwilling to stand up on their own feet.
     
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  4. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Navdeep88ji,

    Many thanks for your reply, I think there is another aspect to Seva though, firstly, not all good seva is good seva, you can encourage people to stop fighting by helping, that is human nature, and secondly, on an airplane do they not say, put the oxygen mask on yourself first before your children
     
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  5. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    for sure harry ji,
    your own well being comes first.
     
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  6. BaljinderS

    BaljinderS
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    I agree with Navdeep. You need to think about your family.
     
  7. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Harry ji

    Could you reach a compromise that you could offer a fixed period of accommodation, say 4 weeks, after which the associate is expected to leave? This is fraught with danger though, of not having the heart to kick someone out if they don't honour their end of the bargain.

    Alternatively, I'm sure the British Government has an emergency housing program? Could you do the legwork of making the calls and doing the research as to what needs to be done to get this associate into one of those programs? You could offer a halfway house until they get into something else (if required)?

    You shouldn't feel that you need to take this person in if doing so would be a burden to you / your family though.

    What is Sian's point of view? Does she feel it is within her resources?

    Sat Sri Akal
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Hi Sis,

    Sian would help everyone and anyone which is why she went through her mothers inheritance in 18 months, We have even cancelled going away in the past so that someone could use our going away money to buy food and pay rent, where do you draw the line between 'living' and living!

    I personally think the more you help people, the more you take away their ability to fend for themselves, and also what is the point of us helping people and then having to seek help from my parents to cover what we have done for others?
     
  9. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Ladies generally prefer it their way else they will show you the way.It is the same story all over, Harry..Let it be for the last time and let it be indirectly funded by your parents if it does make a big hole in your pocket. You can always repay them when you have the surplus.
    I know it is easy to give an advice and the wearer knows where it would pinch.

    Yes, But I have a limited choice; .. to go with Mrs Harry or Mr. Harry .I prefer Mrs Harry. She seems to be philanthropic and a kind lady.

    Convey my regards to Mrs Harry.



    An instinctive response.!
     
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  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Taranjeetji,

    The one great thing about having a completely equal relationship, which is what we have, is that no one gets their own way. We both have scope to do pretty much what we want on a day to day basis, but big things, like having someone live with us requires both our agreement, to be fair to Mrs Harry, Sian, she is not suggesting we do it, per se, more, this is the situation, What do we do about it?

    My response is to make a sad face and shrug my shoulders, and this would also mean lying to my parents, as they have made me promise not to go along with any more crazy ideas while we owe them money, and amazingly, since the crazy ideas stopped, we have been self sufficient!, Sian has no concept of money or reality, as far as she is concerned, she feels the pain of every animal and human being she comes into contact with, and finds it hard to live normally knowing someone or something is in need, I have my fingers crossed that the situations has resolved itself by the time I get home, believe me, if I did not try and be realistic, I would have a house full of animals and strangers!
     
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  11. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel
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    Veer Ji
    I would suggest that you go back to live with your parents and rent all the rooms in the house out,or turn it into a business bed and breakfast.Or look for a nice caravan.
     
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  12. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Harry ji it is all up to you. I have made the same mistakes. Of not offering help when I think I am not in a position to support. Well the means to support are not mine, all belong to Guru. And tomorrow someone else might help your wife's friend, or NOT. All in all you might feel an emptiness within you. As Taranjeet veerji said, your wife herself is coming forth to help this situation. Rest things will work out.
     
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  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    The question is, do we help everyone willy nilly, and at what cost to ourselves, do we cancel a holiday, or a car, for the needy around us? Do we live in some reasonable comfort and help the needy, or do we live among the needy? Just how far do you go?

    The answer lies in the squidgy thing between our ears, we were not meant to be puppets, or androids with a program to follow, the key I think lies in the concept of living as a householder, and in the concept of projecting what you are completely, but then charity should not be viewed as a numbers game, something I find myself playing constantly, I have helped enough people this week, I have filled my quota, the doors are closed, its time for me now, that does not seem to work too well either, annoyingly, the squidgy thing, having just asked it the question, replies that to go looking for people to help is egoistical, and to just deal with any situations that arise, Guruji will direct those to you, and you must deal with them as best you can to your ability, and this looks like one of those ones.

    Bah Humbug
     
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  14. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Harry Haller veer ji, don't feel guilty if you help or not. Sometimes one needs to balance and worse comes to worse you can draw the line as follows with some possible guilt feeling,

    Would a person/animal starve to death because of hunger?

    • Yes --- Help if you can
    • No --- Help or not and don't feel guilty if you don't
    [​IMG]

    Would a person/animal die due to lack of shelter?

    • Yes --- Help if you can
    • No --- Help or not and don't feel guilty if you don't
    Creator has created life with very robust parameters, sometimes we think too shallow or start acting like last resort and full with guilt. Enjoying the life and all that you have done to make a happy and healthy use of creation is also important. So don't skimp on self. We have one life and it is not been blessed for us to live in pittance and guilt.

    Move on and enjoy and don't make all problems as your problems.

    Sometimes easier advised than decided, but let me cite an example.
    ______________________________________________________________
    EXAMPLE: Few winters back our family discovered a cat in the driveway. It was doing meow-meow and seems in trouble. Thought about helping then was decided that such will find a permanent dependance with us.

    Next morning the cat was discovered frozen to death under the car. Yes we could have helped the cat live. Would such be run over by a car the moment she leaves the driveway after taking milk from us. Who knows!

    Some family members carry the guilt to this day!
    _____________________________________________________________

    Sorry to cite a bad example and don't tell this to Sian or I will forever be marked even though I suggested we give milk to the cat (I think it was a while ago and I may be mistaken in this assertion!).

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  15. Sian Haller

    Sian Haller
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    Ambarsariaji,

    Your sad cat story brings to mind one of my own, Years ago my mother too pity on a cat hanging outside the back door, so left a window open and eventually the cat,a very timid cat, came in, my mother who was 80% blind, left some food out for it, but then did not see it again for 2 or 3 days, one evening, she was looking for the cable to turn the lamp on, and felt something furry, the cat had hung itself on the cable, because of the weather, she could not get the cat buried, so she put it into a blue carrier bag, with the intention of disposing of it somewhere tasteful, after a half a mile of snow walking, without finding anywhere, she decided to fling it into an open field, only to be totally mortified 6 months later, when walking past the field to see the blue bag still there, devoid of snow, flapping around in the wind, so not content with killing the cat, mum had now let it down twice.

    Sometimes our intervention is not always the best for a situation, however, I believe one should always do ones best when confronted with a situation of help, not to go out looking for it, but if it lands on your door, to just do your best
     
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  16. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Sian Haller Bhain ji I am also little soft hearted too. I even try to save plants that my wife wants me to chuck out.
    After writing the last post I also kep thinking what will be a simpler solution to this dilemma or disposition to help or be perturbed for ever.

    I thought of the following,
    If it works I think it can be a great filter to simplify matters. Unless one's response always is to help at first instance every time, then we have to figure something else out!

    Have a wonderful day.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  17. Sian Haller

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    Ambarsariaji,

    Working on that basis, my first instinct was to offer a room.

    I did not straight away as I felt I should discuss it with Harryji, who promptly said no.Kindness in isolotaion with little or no impact should be done without thought, and from the heart.However where there is an impact on others, it is right that you engage your brain and not just act on instinct.
     
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    #16 Sian Haller, Jan 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  18. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    My own personal opinion is that one should not offer ones help too quickly, as it can lead to dependence, but I would never stop anyone from helping anyone, I would prefer to wait till the last minute and see what develops, but then I am driven by responsibility to my fellow inhabitants rather than love, I care about creation and feel a sense of responsibility towards creation, Sianji loves creation unconditionally, to her, everything is possible with the minimum of fuss, to me, I know how much we can realistically bear without any fuss, and this would be stretching our resources both financially and emotionally, however, if there were no other way, we would of course bear this load together, actually that is not true, to me it would be a load and a burden, to Sianji more of a blessing

    Bah Humbug
     
  19. Gurdaas

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    Dear Harry...Having read your message I can sympathize with your dilemma of not knowing which course of action to take. I can only offer you some thoughts which you yourself must have also pondered. You brought up the point of the aeroplane and putting on your own mask before helping not just any other person, but in fact your own children. If you are not in a position to help others because of your own predicament, then surely that will lead to extra pressures on you and your family and the parents on whom you are depending to help you out, in order that you may help others. Sian sounds very much a caring person and one who would give her last penny to help someone else. But to borrow from Peter to lend to Paul and not pay back to Peter....is that morally right?? This is something that needs to discussed fully between you both before embarking on your course of action.
     
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  20. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Gurdaasji,

    Sianji would give her last penny,but that is the point, it is not her penny, it is not even my penny, it is a penny we will have to borrow, and I am not sure that is in line with Sikhi.
     
  21. sukritkaur

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    I might be repeating someone's suggestions but have you tried making a pros and cons list? Make the list together because that way it eliminates any bias (although I doubt there is any). You could help this person in other ways that doesn't necessarily mean the person moving into your home. How much do you know about her being made homeless, is it because he/she can't pay rent, but I'm assuming the person still has a job since she's Sian Bhain Ji's associate. Try and figure out and if possible, ask this person what he/she is most struggling with and help address this issue. Like Ishna Ji suggested the person could live with their parents for a while because despite the reasons, parents never deny their children anything or you could help find alternative/emergency housing that the government provides. Recently my mother's colleague had a relative who passed on and could not afford to finance the funeral and other costs. The whole staff in the unit mobilized and each gave as much as they could afford to. But this was something they willingly did upon hearing about it. I think Sian Bhain ji or this person themselves can share this with the office and everyone can contribute as much as they are willing to. If this person does not want their situation to be known of then this might be a problem. I could suggest more things but I'm afraid they may well be useless. Is it possible to get more information about the nature of this problem? If that is all you have been told and this person refuses to share more, there isn't enough to base a decision on sadly.

    It is ideal if we can help everyone but the reality of the matter is that is not always possible. Being pragmatic and trying to reach a compromise between short term assistance and spoon- feeding is key,
    Two things come to mind in his situation which might help: Charity begins at home: Sir Thomas Browne. It is a disservice to everyone involved if coming to the aid of someone puts you in need of something. I believe that defeats the purpose of this helping hand, in my humble opinion.

    Another thing that relates is something I was taught during primary school in India: "God helps those who help themselves." I know this person is not actively seeking for your assistance but I genuinely believe that if this person tries hard enough, they will find that in good time, a solution will be in reach. However, if it just so happens that they have exhausted all means to tackle this situation then personally I would step in.

    Hope that helped, Sorry for just repeating things as I now realize I have done
    Stay in Chardi Kala, Sian Bhain ji and yourself inspire me.
    Sukrit Kaur
     
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