Learning to say no

You learn things from most unexpected experiences. I learnt to say No from such a small but repeated encounters.

I usually get down at a point and walk about 2 km while coming back from work. There is a famous bookstore on the way and few eateries around it. At any given time one can see about 20, 25 people in that area.

Almost every other day one can see a young group of 4 or 5 representing various NGOs talking to people. They will be seen trying to convince them that they are not doing anything to this world and donating to the NGO they represent will help them attain salvation. Now, I am all up for charity. But I refuse to give to any random organization.

My first encounter with them was lengthy. Being a self-proclaimed polite person,  I patiently heard for 15 full minutes before saying that I am not interested. I genuinely wanted to hear what they do but I support another NGO that I believe in.

The frequency of my encounters increased and it was getting a bit frustrating to talk to some NGO rep every day. Time was getting wasted for us both. Over the time, my replies became shorter and crisp. This is the evolution of my replies.

“That is so nice of you people to volunteer but I support another organization”

“Sorry, I support another organization”

“UNICEF? I talked to you guys already”

“Greenpeace.org? I talked to you already”

“Children’s relief fund? I talked to you already”

“UNICEF? I talked to you guys already. Didn’t you get enough funds yet? You have been asking people every day”

“UNICEF again? Talked to you last week”

“Already contributed”

“Already contributed?”

“Not interested”



“Lost my job”






There are some questions that keep surfacing in my mind

  • Why do these organizations always need money?
  • Can they eventually help all the people ever?
  • How about the admin costs? Surely not all the people are volunteering?
  • Can there really be an organization that is formed with volunteers only and the money collected is spent completely to the cause?
  • Why do big NGOs like UNICEF ask ordinary people to contribute instead of targeting corporates or wealthy?
  • Does anyone who is contributing even read the financial statement to check where the money is being spent on?
  • How do we choose the organization that we can trust?


Universe vs Me

I was going through some motivational videos yesterday and was pretty pumped up to wake up early and start being productive. It is amusing that people want everything instantly. We appreciate the Japanese tea making ceremony but we drink dip tea. Because it is instant. After watching the videos, I felt like I am instantly tuned for a super productive lifestyle from that moment on. There will be no looking back. The first thing on the list was to wake up 15 mins early and do something productive.  The alarm was set. The task was fixed – read a chapter in a book that I have been intending to read.

The alarm set off and I woke up without snoozing. My mornings don’t start without a cup of freshly brewed smoking hot filter coffee. So I decided to make one for myself and start reading the book. I felt like it was the first day of the rest of my life.

As I entered the kitchen, I stepped on something cold. I looked down and my irritation went from 0 to 60kmph in 3.2 seconds like a Tesla. My refrigerator had an auto-defrost feature but unfortunately, it doesn’t evaporate the water. All the melted ice was nicely covering the kitchen floor. I had to clean that mess. It was quite an effort to clean that. Finally, when I was done I looked at that clock. It had taken exactly 15 minutes to clean the mess.

Moral 1: You may plan whatever you want to do. But the universe has its own plans for you.
Moral 2: When a difficult task, like cleaning the mess, in this case, is to be done by you the universe prepares you with enough motivation the previous day.

Me – 0, Universe – 1