Again and again it was the same thing. I told him, “I will never change my position, and I think you are not going to change your position – why waste time? Don’t you have any other problem?” He said, “I have so many problems. One problem particularly I came today to ask you about…” And his problem was that he was a very generous man, but very proud. He was not born into the family which he had become the head of – he was adopted. He was born a poor man, and suddenly he became one of the richest men in the country. All his relatives were poor. He made all those relatives rich – gave them factories, gave them shops, gave them as much money as possible because he had so much.
He said to me, “The problem is nobody loves me. I have been giving to everybody – my friends, my family, even strangers have come to me and I have never said no to anything. But nobody loves me. I don’t see in their eyes any respect towards me and I am puzzled. I have done everything – nobody would have done what I have done.”
I said, “I want to ask you one question: Have you allowed those people to do something for you?”
He said, “I am a very proud man. I would rather die, but I will not beg. And in fact there is no need; I have everything. They cannot do anything for me, I don’t need it.”
I said, “The problem is very clear: they are disrespectful, they are unloving, unfriendly, because you have burdened them; you have in a very subtle way humiliated them. You are the man who can help, who can give millions of rupees to people and who does not need anything in return.”
I said, “That is hurting their pride. I know your friends, I know the relatives you have supported and you have made rich. And I know that they are full of anger, rage and hatred for you. You have done everything good for them, but you don’t understand human psychology. You do a few small things…you need not ask them for big things, but you can ask them for something: ‘I love your roses. One day can you send a few roses to me?’ And all their anger will disappear. You have many cars. Those people have cars because you have given them money. There is no need for you, but once in a while you can just phone them and say, ‘I need your car; can you send the car?’ You have your own guest houses, you don’t need any help from anybody, but once in while you can ask a friend: ‘If your guest house is available, one of my friends is coming and I would like you to take care of him – just do this much kindness for me.’”
And you can change the whole atmosphere around you; then they are equal to you. Right now you have reduced them to such a state – you are so high, so beyond their reach – they are just like insects crawling on the earth.”
He said, “I never thought about it in this way.” And after ten years, he met me in a train and he told me, “You were right. I started asking for small things, which don’t mean anything, and they have all changed. Now there is no anger, no hatred, no humiliation; they feel equal to me because they know they have also done something for me. It is not only me who is always doing things for them; they have also been doing things for me. It may be just bringing me a few roses from their garden.”