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Because I have no cause

If we can’t work for our own good, do we have a right to work for the society?

india Updated: Jan 09, 2010 19:13 IST

If we can’t work for our own good, do we have a right to work for the society?

I got a call from Bubbles (Bubbly aunty has recently changed her name- properly, with a newspaper notification) when I was in the middle of writing this column - on another topic. After talking to her, I decided to change the subject for this week. Here’s how the conversation went.

Bubbles: “I have to throw a party this Saturday.”
Me: Great
Bubbles: “But not like a kitty party. A meaningful one.”
Me: What’s a meaningful party?
Bubbles: “Oho, where I could invite some activist types guests… you know, wearing fabindia kurtas, black rimmed specs and oxidized silver jewellery”
Me: Hmmm. Way to go Bubbly aunty. How can I help?
Bubbles: I need a cause. They won’t come otherwise, no? Some cause which is in these days, but also something I could read up on in a few hours.

So she was cause shopping… what a lot of people do these days. To set the record straight, I have nothing against the concept of social service or doing something worthwhile in the larger interest of the society. What troubles me, however, is the stress caused by those who practise and propagate superficial activism. These people are stressed out themselves, because they are in a constant search for causes that are easy to adopt and look fashionable at the same time. Plus, with their warped notions about the need for social awareness, they spread this stress to those around them.

I know a woman who is a permanent fixture at all big charity events, especially the ones that get her into the limelight. At home, however, one can see her shouting at the domestic help and even her own kids, anytime. Whatever happened to the good’ol adage of charity beginning at home? If we can’t devote time and attention to our own family and close ones, I wonder if we really have the right to seek accolades for any good work we may have done for the society.

This week’s calmness trick is for all those who keep worrying that they are not involved in, or support any big causes. Actually you don’t need any big causes to feel good and worthwhile. Just imagine, if we all made a resolution to be nice to those around us, spend time with the kids, keep the areas around our own work and homes clean, respect the elderly and be a bit responsible with the resources at our disposal, there won’t be a big need for social service in the first place.

Society, after all, is made of us, and its good largely depends on our conduct. Set your own house right and the world automatically would be set right.

Just one problem, though. Who will Bubbly aunty invite to the ‘cause party’? Sonal Kalra shall make a plan to spend more time with her family. Just after attending the three big upcoming charity events. Mail your calmness tricks to her at