We don’t want your money..!

SAID India, “Thank you very much UAE, but we don’t want your money!” It was not about not ‘needing’ your money, it was, not ‘wanting’ it. Never mind that the centre had promised Kerala only 600 crores, while the UAE’s offer was 700 crores! Never mind that the death, destruction and devastation in the state needs a hundred times more! That millions are homeless and dying, that the state could face threats of epidemics, that cattle have been lost, crops destroyed, homes washed away.
But with steely eyes we turned and said, “No!” Many years ago, while running my business, I employed a youngster who I found quite honest and upright. One day while visiting the site he was overseeing I noticed he wore a torn shirt. I saw he wore the same shirt the next day too, and told him it was important he wore clothes which even if they were old were not torn. He wore another shirt the next day, equally frayed. I went home, looked for some good shirts of mine, got them wrapped and left it at the site. The next day I heard he had left my company with a note, “I don’t want your charity!” I saw him from my car a year later, his shirts even more the worse for wear, trying to sell a product as a door to door salesman, and being turned away because of his shabby attire.
And here’s another incident: Once, I’d rescued a person from the evils of alcoholism, but continued helping him as he decided to get married and set up a home for himself. One day as we sat outside his tiny but happy home, he said, “Bob, I’ve got something for you,” and going in, he came out with a pair of old boots. I looked at the worn shoes and my heart missed a beat as I wondered how I could be seen in them, and what made my friend think I needed them. But just as I was about to refuse politely, came a new thought into my head, that it was important to be as gracious a receiver as a giver.
“You can’t be seen in those shoes!” said my children as I went the next week to same friend’s house. I wore them, and as my friend looked at the boots, he glanced up and whispered, “Thank you Bob!” As I left him later and walked back to my car, sat in the back and waited for my driver to take me away I glanced back at my happy friend, then looked with tears in my eyes at the old shoes on my feet and realized I had nearly not earned those thanks, because of my false pride! “We don’t want your money!” we cry, even as we hear thousands crying for help..!

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