Monday, 19 July 2010

Neighbourhoodwink

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"When trust is betrayed even once, it will end with disastrous results... Just like the boy who cried wolf"

This topic is something that we are so familiar with. When you go riding/driving and you are waiting at a traffic signal, you will invariably see beggars coming to ask alms from you. There are typical types of beggars - Either little children, women with infants or eunuchs.

Eunuchs are those people who feel that collecting money from you is their right because they are not normal and thus feel deprived of regular means of livelihood. The children work on the simple logic of melting your heart, just like the hapless women with infants in their arms - They show poverty and helplessness and ask you for money. This article might, in the beginning, make you feel that there is a certain coldness or callousness in it, but you will know what I mean as we proceed.

The important thing about these beggars is that they are hardly what they seem. The simplest example is the women with babies. Most often, the babies are not theirs. In fact, the women keep changing like shifts, and the baby remains the same. Baby sharing, much like resource sharing and optimisation that many software engineers read about is a ploy used to play on your emotions where you quickly feel bad and guilty for driving in a luxury car with your A/C turned on, while this hapless woman, probably knocked up by some drunken man, now has a baby and no means of supporting herself, and you end up giving money. And software engineers are usually the people they like to hold on to... Many people have the feeling that software engineers make too much of money very easily (and they feel that it is without much effort, but this is a different point and I would not like to digress)

If you still don't believe me, here's a story to debunk the belief. There was a techie couple who hired a nanny to take care of their child. The nanny rented out the child to one of these women for Rs. 100 per day, and they would drug the child to put it to sleep, and take it around for begging, and return it to the nanny before the child's parents would return. The parents were always wondering why the child was always so sleepy and inactive. One day, the mother returned home early from work, and was flabbergasted to see the child missing. The police was immediately notified, and the shivering nanny revealed the plot. As you can clearly see, the racket shows that the baby is often not theirs, and they make so much money, that they can invest in babies. And moreover, just try looking at the children the next time you see them. The children are most often asleep...

Another common thing that we have often heard about, is collection of relief funds for those afflicted by natural calamities. It is very well known that most of the money that has been contributed never reaches the victims and is siphoned off much earlier. And there are thousands of such cases, where people try to play on the emotions of ordinary people, and hoodwink them...

So, the obvious reaction of the victims of cheating, is to prevent giving out money to these people - you start turning down beggars, and refuse to contribute money to those who come for collection, citing that you have already contributed elsewhere. This, though natural, is an indication of doom. The reason is that, being put in a position where you are unable to differentiate between truth and falsity, you prefer to take the worst case scenario, and try to safeguard yourself so that you are not the victim. While you end up being safe, people who are truly and genuinely in need of help are often turned down as a result of these scams, because you don't know if it is a true case or not.

Therefore, before you start doing any action, it is often wise to look at the repercussions - Something that no charlatan really cares to do about, as all he wishes to do is hoodwink someone and pocket the money. And this will ultimately lead to the downfall of society... Why? People who are desperately in need of money don't get relief due to the above mentioned reasons. So, they resort to crime. They rob, loot, burgle... or even kill to make some fast cash. They get caught, their families are destroyed... Women who are now genuinely hapless get sucked into prostitution, children get pushed into labour, beggary, sometimes getting their limbs amputated to seem hapless, and thus we get sucked into a whirlpool of doom.

Swami Gulagulaananda therefore tries to share this message with all of you, to remain as honest and straightforward as possible. When trust and faith gets lost even once, the repercussions are like the domino effect. It is not difficult to cheat or trick someone, but the loss of credibility is always disastrous.

No comments: