Love people not things

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Relationship, Are materialistic things more important than human relationships?


Kavita aunty, a complete chatterbox and a live wire, left after a month’s stay with us.  My calm and quiet husband wondered from where she gathered the stamina to talk non-stop at the age of 70.  The bedside table in our guest room wore an empty look because the copper water bottle and her medicine kit were no longer present there.  The kit especially was so attractive that I kept thinking of it again and again.  She liked my tiny porcelain salt container and I gladly gave it to her.  The little corner where the container was kept became vacant and I even started missing that relationship.

However, after some time, some sense dawned upon me and I started feeling guilty and ashamed.  I thought, “How can I be so mean?”  I wasn’t thinking of my aunt who spent some time with me and gave me good company.  Foolishly I was thinking of her non-living articles lying in a corner, and I was missing them?  Most of us have the habit of rearranging our homes and think of filling the vacant spaces.  We often miss the little objects that have been misplaced, stolen or broken and we even get upset.  But, how often have we thought of people who create a void in our lives?

Once, I was a witness to my friend’s sister-in-law’s rantings and her nasty behaviour when my friend broke her crockery by mistake.  She was not given a chance to explain, that it fell without any fault on her side.  Furthermore, the

sister-in-law was so upset that I felt embarrassed being present there.

Immature people always want to win an argument, even at the cost of a relationship.  Mature people understand that it’s always better to lose an argument and win a relationship.  Basing her behavior on this logic, my friend preferred to remain silent.  We must keep a distance from people who will never admit that they are wrong and who always try to make us feel like everything is our fault.  Isn’t it true that vulnerable, good and soft-hearted people’s relationships are targeted and not only used but misused too?  But is it correct to take undue advantage of their good nature?  Where has our humanity gone?

“Be careful… that’s my new vase!”

“Handle my things with care!”

“Go out and play; my windowpanes will break!”

“How dare you meddle with my make-up kit!”

We don’t mind speaking rudely and we don’t mind breaking people’s hearts.  We often forget that if we see ourselves in others, it is impossible to hurt anyone else.  Things can be had in plenty; they can be bought, and they can be repaired.  A heart once broken can be mended but the crack is always there.  Let us remember, there are some things that money can’t buy, like manners, morals, love and affection.

Things can be had in plenty; they can be bought, and they can be repaired.

A heart once broken can be mended but the crack is always there.

In our country, we consider it a privilege to have guests.  “Athithi Devo Bhava.”  A guest is considered an equivalent to God.  So, to please our guests and to create an impression, we take a lot of trouble to tidy our homes, purchase gifts for them and prepare good food.  However, I have observed from the moment they step in, our blood pressure rises, and we start getting tense about whether they will spill anything on the carpet or table, litter our home, use the washrooms, etc.  This is more so when the visitor is elderly or a little child.  We forget that we too will age one day, and we do not remember that we were once children too.  As soon as they leave, more than ruminating over the pleasure we derived from their visit, we start cleaning our homes.  A friend of mine is so obsessed about cleanliness that she doesn’t invite anybody home. I wonder, what’s the point of having beautiful homes and no visitors?

In India, we have a habit of borrowing others’ possessions.  We develop such an intimate rapport with people around us that we prefer to borrow things needed for a short duration rather than buying them.  Therefore, it is our duty and responsibility to return the borrowed articles intact.  In case we are unable to do so, the best option would be not to borrow at all.  In such circumstances, it is okay and acceptable for the lender to tell the borrower to take care of his things.  This can be said in a pleasant manner too.  However, we cross the borders of civility and rudely tell people to be careful with our things.  Are possessions more precious than people realtionship?  Life doesn’t allow us to go back and fix the wrongs that we have done in the past, but it does allow us to live each day better than our realtionship last.

Let us be the one who nurtures and builds relationship,

Let us be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart,

Let us be the one who looks for the best in people,

Let us leave people better than we found them.



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