When you feel helpless and cannot do anything about it…
Word Count – 1308
Time to read – 00:05:13
The feeling of helplessness is not just the inability to do something at the moment – bound by an emotional and physical inability to perform whatever immediate task the moment calls.
I am in no way making a psychological assessment of the situation. It is just an observation. Today’s post will explore the topic of helplessness in greater detail and share my experiences.
I’ll start with the easiest: India is a rich country with some poverty, similar to the developed countries. Some people also live below the poverty line. They are often called beggars.
Begging also includes coercion for “treatment” or illness.
The ones suffering from helplessness are eager to receive help to alleviate the below-the-poverty status.
Most beggars beg because it is easy money. Someone would give money to beggars for one out of two reasons: to rid themselves of persistent beggars or we take pity on their ‘helplessness’.
How many of us hate clever beggars? Particularly those who can solve their helplessness with little manual work.
No one can see past the physical form of an individual to discern their past that plunged them into begging due to circumstances.
Abandoned or deceased kins of Parents and grandparents who have no one to look after them have no means of sustaining themselves.
Sometimes begging is an excuse, and it appears when trust in small things erodes. Appearances do play a crucial role in shaping perceptions of beggars. Disabilities can easily evoke empathy.
The initial days brought us beggars that were physically disabled- some of whom were real and hard to spot except for our compassion for them. Disability not leading to any job is just a myth.
When there are successful disabled people out there, I wonder what their excuses are for being helpless. When there are successful disabled people, I wonder what’s their excuse for being forcefully helpless.
Notably, the most famous successful disabled person is Sudha Chandran. She is a well-known Indian actress and classical dancer who let go of her disability to continue her love of dancing.
Coming back to the point, I want to help poor people and those who are below the poverty line. Poverty is nothing but missed opportunity in my opinion.
Let me share another example to reinforce this claim better. Family A consists of a husband, wife and child. I will not get into the reasons for their poverty. Husbands and wives want to give their children a better life. Some of the options in their hands will be becoming a daily wage earner and doing second and third jobs as supplementary incomes.
Remember, the money they wish to earn is only to survive and not live their lives. Their goal here is to stabilise their income. When their income is stabilised or have enough savings, they can ensure a better life for their child.
A better life for their child is by giving them a life their parents never had. The primary thing is education. Giving proper education is like giving their child a better opportunity in life. So, it is necessary to impart this basic opportunity in some form or the other to uplift poverty. Why? Because it is the simplest and easiest to implement.
Any subsequent generation is always better than its predecessor.
Government-aided institutions and NGOs actively participate in granting educational opportunities to those who cannot afford them. We can support genuine NGOs with monetary help to ensure no child misses receiving this opportunity.
Similarly, NGOs exist that focus on rehabilitating beggars from the streets.
I choose not to help beggars. It makes me forcefully helpless because I do not know what is their reason for being helpless in the first place. A sad sight to see children beg they are either without parents or parents ‘teach’ their children to beg because people tend to take pity on children readily.
When was the last time you asked your friends for some cash? No matter how nig or small the amount. A smaller amount makes it easier for your friends to lend you some money. However, a more significant sum would prompt them to think.
The only time you would ask for cash only if it were for a smaller amount. Nowadays, the advancement of money transfers through UPIs has dramatically reduced the need for cash. Yet at some point, friends tend to ask for money if not present at hand and transfer the same amount almost immediately.
Helping poor people via the NGO route:
I am sure many of us want to help poor people. You won’t even need lots of cash to help them. Helping them by donating clothes, food grains and there are many ways of going about it. The convenient way is through an NGO that accepts these things on behalf of the poor people.
They have an established network of volunteers who know the existence of the pockets of poverty prevalent in the said area.
I haven’t started taking that route since I also believe it is better to help them when you are financially secure. I can spare more amount without giving it any second thoughts. At the moment, my contribution only involves donating cash to the Church collections. This is the only way I avoid feeling helpless.
You cannot overcome helplessness unless you know the underlying cause of it.Phil Phoenyx
Beggars are just an example of when we feel helpless to help. Sometimes, it may affect us in ways we can’t comprehend.
I want to help people who are in need. My help is not spoon-feeding. I want to help those who help themselves. For whom poverty is not an excuse.
I realised to help people, sometimes you need money for any upliftment. To help lots of people, you need lots of money.
I have experienced hardships and not poverty in my lifetime. It occurred when that company could not pay their employees on time, leaving them in the lurch. I recovered from the helplessness when I got another job. But, the sheer helplessness that accompanied me during that time affected me big time.
Other types of helplessness:
Helplessness is not a restricted feeling within the confines of unstable finances. It can creep in at any time like the setting shadows as the sun goes down. When you want to help someone but cannot or don’t want to. You wished that you could help in any other way possible.
I remember when one of my colleagues called me during the week offs. She wanted to loan some cash. As much as I wanted to help her, the first question that usually pops up is the amount required small or large. A small amount is subjective and varies across perceptions.
If the amount is large, then the person may think about the possibility of helping or outrightly deny help. When my colleague called, it was at the beginning of the season of Advent. There was no way I could contribute anything to helping her from her helplessness. Besides, I had some bad experiences constantly in pursuit of the consequences no matter how sincere the desire was.
My friends and colleagues have asked to lend smaller amounts in the past – the amount being small enough that would not affect the bigger picture. My friends and colleagues returned the amounts without any reminders.
One person from whom I never mind asking a small amount of money from is my darling wife. It goes both ways. During the coronavirus work-from-home situation, I would give her smaller amounts whenever she asked. It continued until she got a job in August 2022.
Now, our monetary exchange has been reduced to a greater extent.
Taking up a career that you have no love for leads you to another area of helplessness. Of course, in such situations besides changing the job – there are no other alternatives.