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Written by: Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor
Friday, April 18, 2008

In my late teens my friend Mary* was in a bind. She really needed help on a problem she was facing. It was a life or death situation. Another friend, Karen came through without reservation and helped her. Karen actually had plans that day, but without a thought broke all her plans to help Mary who was very sick and needed help. Later, after Mary got well, I spoke to her about this experience. Initially, she was left speechless. There were no words she could use to express her gratitude. She wanted to give back to this person. Of course in her gratitude, she wanted to do it NOW!

I was happy to see this give and take exchange happening, but I was concerned for Mary. The reason being, I told her, was because Karen had come to help her for something unexpected. It is natural she wants to help Karen with something as Mary felt indebted to her. The other problem for Mary was that Karen would be leaving town soon, for good, as she'd be graduating from college. I shared with Mary that Karen was a giving person, she did not do this to get anything in return. Thanking her would be sufficient. But this did not satiate Mary's desire to give back. In the process of figuring out what to do, I advised Mary about something. Even to this day, I can't believe I said this. I told Mary that Karen did this because you are a human being that needed help. Sometimes it is the forces of the universe that compel us to do the right thing when required- not the need for anything in return. You want to give back to her. Tell her thanks, do something small and nice for her, maybe help her pack as she is moving soon. But, don't be to overanxious about returning the favor in a similiar way as she gave to you, finding such an opportunity is impossible. These things happen without our planning. Always keep Karen's generousity in your mind and heart and when someone comes into your life that requires the help as she gave you- then you know what to do. This is giving back to Karen as it is in honor of her generousity to her that you are doing this for another.

It is this philosophy that has creeped back into my life again and I am very happy to be reminded of it. I always canvas others to come to my site, read, leave comments (my sincere apologies for the site not working as efficiently as it should, we are working on that), register and even contribute, but what am I doing to even this give and take out? I have started contributing to other blogs with comments and posts. Recently I have contirbuted a post to Shiva's Arms about Holi, this week I have contributed to Srivalli's Dosa Mela, and this week I have been accepted as a contributor (with probationary status, mind you) on Desi Pundit.

Thanks for reading my blog as it nears 1,000,000 hits and meet with me and other contributors on Desi Pundit. Have a pleasant day!

 Related Posts/Sites: Receive what you Give 

* Names are changed to protect privacy.

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Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar

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