I was doing my work online with my iMac when suddenly I received a very urgent life-threatening, career defining, war inducing confidential message — it was from my team leader. He had asked me to gather my resources and fight.
Immediately, I looked around, saw no one watching, stopped working on my iMac and focused 100% to gather all my resources and send them to battle. Within 9 minutes, all my troops had died and now I had no choice but to get back to my work.
I seriously hated this aspect of DomiNations — the online game. It was always so easy to die if one wasn’t careful. And it always ruined all the effort I put into creating my invincible army.
So now that I was back to my iMac — my group leader as always would give me feedback on my progress — how did I do, what did I do well, where I should improve, how I should improve and how much I should improve. All these were important tips for me to better the next time.
So as we were having our ‘feedback’ session, he then asked me if he could ask me a personal favor. I was more than happy to grant him a personal favor. After all, he used to give me free advice, suggestions and ideas.
He then asked me if I would like to donate to a gofundme account for his wife’s cancer treatment. And if that wasn’t possible, if I could post about his wife’s treatment gofundme link on my social media page.
I would be lying to you if I told I was taken a back by the request.
- Because I didn’t expect anything other than the gaming aspect of the relationship to be discussed
- I never lend money to anyone — especially those I do not know
- I didn’t know the guy at all apart from his gaming avatar
- The devil’s advocate in me questioned if this was a legitimate request or not (I have had a few instances in my life)
- And finally, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to help or I didn’t.
And all this and all these thoughts flooded my mind in seconds. And no sooner, I entertained & analyzed these objections — all of a sudden, my mind went back to my days of suffering, pain, loneliness, and failure. Those moments when I didn’t have anyone and I had to ask for help. And no one really did.
I thought about those days and for a few seconds, I relived those moments. I reminded myself how I felt when I asked others for help, but they didn’t help me or believe me or maybe want to help me.
I thought about it and kept silent.
And then I also thought about all those emails, messages and requests I would receive ever single day from people all over the world asking me to help them in some way, shape or form. In fact, not a single day would pass by when I wouldn’t receive yet another request for some request, some help, some contribution or something for FREE. And given the number of requests I had received over the years — I was not just irritated, I immediately would hate the person who would ask me for it.
However, this particular guy (whom I didn’t know apart from the gaming Avatar) asked me for something that was totally unexpected and out of the blue.
I’m pretty sure if I had spent time entertaining these thoughts, they would have continued for another few more hours. But instead of asking myself WHY should I help this guy — I decided I would make the decision based on:
- Do I want to help this guy? Yes/No?
- If yes, how much?
I thought about it for a split second and decided, I would give him something that wouldn’t hurt me at the same time would by in sync with what I felt was right — to help someone whom I believed was genuine.
So immediately, I pulled out my card, made the payment, shared the link on all my social media groups and informed him that I had made a tiny donation to the gofundme account.
He was truly kind and gracious and I, well was ashamed that I couldn’t do more than give what I can truly say was an embarrassingly small amount of money.
After we finished exchanging the goodbyes, I thought to myself:
- Could I have given more?
- Should I have given more?
- Why didn’t I want to give more?
I then realized that, what mattered wasn’t how much I gave or if I did give anything. What mattered was:
- I choose to help
- I gave something if nothing.
Sometimes I feel we tend to analyze and over-analyze actions which are truly not necessary to be analyzed. What I had given him is what I would normally spend eating out on a normal given day — so then why was I spending so much time analyzing and over-analyzing this small act of ‘being a human being?’
I guess its because of the number of times people have used, misused and overused the genuine acts of kindness many of us provide. And in a day and age of people whose need is replaced by greed, who have substituted laziness for hard-work and who have today considered getting free-money as a solution to their problems — I assume it was but normal for me to feel this way.
As I sit and type out these few lines, I am glad that I did what I believe was the right thing. I can tell you outright — I have no evidence to prove if this guy is genuine or he is not. But I know one thing — my gut feeling deep down tells me he is and yes, this was the right thing to do. In a day and age where people whom we trust run away with almost all our savings, what is so wrong in me helping someone who has helped me for free — even if it is limited to giving me advice, suggestions & guidance? After all, isn’t that something I normally charge for?
I find it strange that many of us can spend a lot of money on toys, vacations, cars, entertainment, pleasure, eating out and having fun. And we do not think twice about it. But where it comes to investing in ourselves, investing in others and doing what we feed deep down is right — we literally argue for the pennies. I suppose that is what happens when you are focused on making money, being rich and counting your pennies.
I am sincerely glad that I was able to make this decision within a split second. And I am glad that I didn’t over analyze giving what I firmly believe was one of the cheapest and smallest amounts I could give to anyone. It makes me feel ashamed to know that I took those few seconds to overly analyze if I could give someone the smallest act of kindness — just a few dollars. It amazes me how much of our lives are now revolving around being protective of our pennies. After all isn’t that how most of us become rich — by counting our pennies?
Maybe that is why sometimes, when it comes to doing good to others, its better not to think too much. And whether you are wrong or right — I personally believe, the best answer is “Just Do It”.
If I was wrong in helping the person — well, I only lost a few pennies. But if I was right, I will be glad I played a tiny part in making a big difference.
So next time someone comes out to ask you for help, IF and BIG IF you feel that gut feeling deep down or hear that voice back of your head telling you ‘maybe — just maybe you should help’ — Don’t over analyze.
All you have to do is remember the people of Nike and their slogan that says…..