“She relishes the burnt toast. Give it to her!’
How many of you feel that the understanding people always get a raw deal? If you do, your perception is not untrue.
Are you such an understanding person?
You are very 'adjusting' to every situation. That is the perception of others about you. Therefore it is likely that the other guy who is very rigid in his preferences would get priority over you. You make the life of ‘others’ as well as the 'rigid' person a lot happier. So, when you are asked to wait for a longer time than you are required to or when you get settled in a less comfortable position than what you are entitled to, for the sake of that 'un-adjusting' person, you stay contented wherever you are!
Don't you feel that everyone deserves to be treated equally irrespective of the fact that one is demanding, sensitive, cynical, or smart? Is there any limit to being understanding?
Do you know what is squeezed to the hilt when we travel? The hand baggage we carry! And what suffers the most? The zip of our bag! We try to squeeze everything inside and still the zip helplessly cooperates with us to close it. After that, we still find a few things outside. We test the strength of the zip again and almost damage the bag while doing that. This is exactly what we do with those understanding ones. We exploit them to the maximum extent possible.
It is written that, ‘Never test good people. They are like mercury. They will not break when hit. They will just disappear from your life silently'. We can make a relation bend to our advantage and can be proud to be a smart winner. But we need to be aware that there is a remote or imminent possibility of a break in the relationship if we have tested the patience of the gentle soul beyond its level of tolerance.
This happens in every domain of life. However this is most conspicuous in career settings. (I have written about this in my book 'When the Boss is Wrong')
So, what is the message? To continue to sacrifice even when you are exploited or to stop taking any extra burden if you think that you are being unduly exploited?
To get an answer to this, you need to ask a question to yourself. Why did you become a sacrificial goat many times? Was it forced on you by someone? Or was it because of situational compulsions? You need to get away from those individuals and try to wriggle out of such unjust situations at the earliest opportunity. You don't deserve to be slaughtered on a regular basis. You need not be the only one who deserves to be given a banana with dark patches or a burnt toast when others insist for the perfect ones.
If you voluntarily step in or step out of a situation to mitigate a problem faced by someone and that someone is unwilling or incapable of doing something which he or she is supposed to do, you may do it for a few times and not as a matter of practice. But if you find happiness every time you sacrifice for others even when you know that you are exploited, go ahead and continue to do that. However you are instrumental in making such parasites and exploiters thrive. This is not desirable if one aspires to see a just society. Even if you don't mind being unduly exploited, it is your duty to leave their yoke to themselves if they have the potential to be capable to shoulder it.
Truly, the world is still a beautiful place because of the sacrifices of a cross section of individuals and groups who do it willingly, happily and sincerely. They spread the message to others that one can still be happy while shouldering an extra load. The exploiters too read the message and enthusiastically forward it to others without parking it in their life even for a moment. "Yes, sacrifice and sermons are good for others now and for me, may be later."
One could glorify suffering to find solace in a state of perceived deprivation or exploitation. This glorification is based on moral or philosophical grounds rather than rational or utilitarian perspective. However human behaviour is substantially influenced by rational impulses and expectations. Therefore, many of those ‘sufferers’, whether it is voluntary or involuntary, will end up cribbing quietly, unless they have the innate power or the spirit of the divine.
© Sibichen K Mathew