Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why to do "Social Work"?

In our religions, they say that we get lots of  “Punya” if we given even a glass of water to the thirsty. Having jointly given over 55 lakh litres in the past 26 days to the reallllly thirsty, we all have collected enough blessings to last a few lifetimesJ.

But seriously speaking, I would like to make a few observations on social work. I have seen many social workers become bitter because the recipients or society do not recognize or appreciate or honor their devotion to others.  Most people do social work because “they feel good” or because it “reduces their guilt of being in a better life situation than others less fortunate” or because as a friend said “I was so happy to see the beggar’s smile as I gave her some money.”

That is a trap. When your mind starts calculating the benefit it gives oneself, then the reaction of others determine your happiness and bitterness. You become happy/sad based on other people’s reactions.

My reading of what to do in a moral dilemma led me to study ethics and hence Mahabharata, Ramayana and Western ethical philosophies.

Immanuel Kant (18th Century, Prussian philosopher) says that “Do the right thing because it is right”, for no reason except that it is the right thing to do.

If you interpolate it with Bhagwad Geeta’s shloka Ch 2: 47, which says “keep on doing your work without expecting any reward”, then we have a philosophy that is appealing


“Do the right thing without expecting any reward” 

1 comment:

Gaurav Gambhir said...

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन । is the path of life...