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DateLine Sunday, 30 September 2007

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How control follows help

Zoomlens by Afreeha Jawad What's bad about helping is when the helper later begins to control the helped

Have you heard of senior citizens recall what they believe in are 'those good old days?' invariably leaving one to understand present ones as the 'bad new ones'.

"Those days are gone men. What do you find today ... all muck no men. See these boys and girls of today. What values have they got ..." there they go.

Unwittingly then today's elders are comparing the social/political economic systems that make up the past and present. It is the respective systems impacting the social whole that brings out two contrastingly different social groups. This is not to deny the existence of both good and bad in both. Yet, depending on the intensity of socio/econ/political conditions will be the relative good and bad states of both times.

Probing into all this was Zoon Lens whose focus grew sharper and clearer by the second. Now here we go.

People today and quite a number of them have become good samaritans and at the word 'go' they are more than willing to help. Exuding with a kind of old world charm, the 'milk' of human kindness will unceasingly and unfailingly flow from even the most unexpected quarters compelling the recipient even to a state of self guilt. Now hold it.

I've seen many help people not out of some genuine feeling for the other but with something up the sleeve. Today's helping hand is not free of selfish ends. Tainted and sullied with all kinds of ulterior motives, these people lean forward to help only to bring the recipient into feeling obliged.

Matters don't end here. From there onwards the helper tries to even gain control over the other only to find the recipient itself resenting such overlordship while the 'good Samaritan' goes about spreading stories like "oh! I've been so nice. I've helped so much and see this is all I get in return."

Contemporary times carrying an avalanche of what is seemingly good heartedness is a survival tactic for it bears nothing short of what is comprehensive in self-mindedness. The market economy itself warrants such behaviour. The smiles, backpatting, the Hello, Hai, Bye and what is believed to be common courtesy are also essential pre-requisites for survival in the system.

The kind of help and extended courtesy that once was arose from deep down within the heart's enclaves in the absence of a market economy that propagated high degree opportunism.

It is against the backdrop of all such that even bookshops began flooding with publication which promoted self survival.

For instance much has been written around how to win friends and influence people. 'Self' being the ultimate beneficiary, such writing fall short of the kind of friendship to be fostered emanating from the depth of one's being.

Any kind of help be it at individual or international level under market environs is hardly bereft of accompanying strings. Even in the exchange of gifts there is much competition and ostentation. One gives expecting a return unlike in earlier times. In fact a valuable gift is given expecting another one of extra value.

The networking of social groups centres basically around exchanging of gifts and self help. Even in helping the needy, at the back of one's mind is the attempt into merit accumulation. Whether there is a genuine concern for the needy to relieve them from the clutches of poverty is much food for thought. Given the selfish angle to all these one could even posit that the accumulation of merit is possible only until poverty prevails. Should social equity come in, here then is a 'spoiler' for those hankering after merit.

Whither merit in a class free society!! Surely only a dream state. Nevertheless, should it be a reality, not to worry the yet lesser mortals like cats, crows and dogs are there to be treated with whatever left overs - merit, merit and merit is all yours for the asking.

Today even administrative orders that are carried out are seen as a form of offering help. Far too many times have people heard secretarial women say, "well, I did this specially for you." When all what she has done was to carry out an administrative ruling. This then is indicative of expecting that infamous something in return - anything not less, than an expensive saree, wrist watch could be even a bed spread - all part of her share of the accumulated 'something' over the years for whatever 'help' she may have delivered which she refuses to acknowledge as administrative ruling.

So, here we are - a nation of helpers - receiving or rendering help not to forget what a great good deal of merit - loads and loads of it are contained therein with heavens doors springing backwards and forwards - accommodating only the meritorious ones while shutting out the rest. Not enough having danced the jig here on earth during their hay day, some even express the view of merit collection and storage to be taken come exit time to the other world as well - seemingly a not too difficult task for those that keep depositing tons and tons of ill-gotten dirty monies in banks and finance companies.

Wheelchairs, hospital equipment, spectacles and all kinds of the like are helpful offerings carried out amid high voltage lights and sophisticated cameras handled by some TV crew.

The giver is all smiles in the face, with the mind itself firmly implanted in the next elections!! - all merit you see, loverly merit!

Recipients are even tutored into publicly acknowledging the donor's and their companies!

Who said 'let not the left hand know what the right hand giveth"'

All this is kopi kaaley kathaa no men.

Now its kokaa kola yugey!

Hurrah! So come join us as we take off on this most exhilarating though nauseating meritorious flight.

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