He started giving money to his relatives who were poor, because he himself belonged to a poor family; his relatives were poor, his friends were poor. And now he had so much, and he had got it without any effort, and he was in a position to help everybody. He really helped all his relatives, his father, his brother, his sisters, his friends, and he made all of them very rich. I was aware of the fact.
He told me “The problem is, I have been so generous to everybody who was even faraway connected – a faraway cousin, or just an acquaintance – but if I saw that they were in trouble, I gave them as much as they wanted; I gave them more. Now they are all flourishing, they are all rich. But one thing strange is that they don’t feel obliged towards me! On the contrary, most of them never come to see me or meet me; in fact, they avoid me. It hurts me very much, that I have done so much…and what kind of ungrateful people are these?”
I said, “You don’t understand the deeper psychology behind it. You have given them, but you don’t know that the giver always insults the person he is giving. In the very giving you have become higher and the person who has received has become lower. If you are an understanding man, you will see this is actually what happens. I want to ask you one thing: Have you ever accepted any help from them?”
He said, “I don’t need it – why should I accept their help?”
I said, “That’s where you are humiliating them, insulting them. What is wrong? – small things. If you just phone a friend whom you have helped, who is now rich, has a factory of his own, cars of his own…if you just ask him, ‘Send two cars; I need them very much.’ You may not need, you have enough cars! Just let those cars come, and after an hour send them back. You don’t need, but let that man feel that he can also give something to you, that he is not always on the receiving end. He is sometimes on the giving side also.
“Or you can tell some friend, ‘In your garden I saw such beautiful roses. Can you send me a dozen roses today?’ And he will be immensely happy to send those dozen roses. It doesn’t cost him much, but he will start forgiving you, and he will start being grateful to you.”
The man said, “Perhaps you are right. I have never, never asked anybody for anything, because I don’t need. And I never thought that just giving to somebody, and always giving and never taking…”
“Anything, anything without any value…a few flowers or just calling the person and saying, ‘I am feeling very lonely. Can you come and be with me for breakfast or for the lunch? – I will be immensely grateful.’ You would have helped those people to regain their dignity. You have given them money but you have made them beggars, and nobody can forgive you, this is utterly inhuman.”
And he said, “I understand, but I will not be able to do it; it is against my ego.”