Why, I lost interest in Philanthropy?

When I was a student, I always wondered that why didn’t people help the needy?
In my growing years I lost so many opportunities because I didn’t have the means. I lost scholarship in Sainik School, which could had been an ideal foundation to become a commissioned officer in Indian military, I lost an opportunity to study Engineering in IIT in spite of being selected.
In my early boyhood I used to walk on the streets, looking down to see if I could spot a coin or a currency note lying on the road.
I saw many people who had a lot of income, and I wondered that why didn’t they share part of it to help a few needy, like myself. The girl friends left me primarily due to my poor state. Other girls discarded me because I looked pathetic in worn-out dresses.
I don’t want to talk about that—it’s all water under the bridge now.
In my career and later in my life, I wondered that why did I lose that commitment that I should help the needy, which was so often possessed me.
Why did I change from a good person to a selfish person after I got some wealth?
The thought pestered me on and off, but one fine day I got the reason.
It happened primarily, because of one experience of my life.
I had set up a factory by taking huge loans from financial institutions. My idea was good, and I was trying to implement with my limitations, as well as I endeavour.
I set up a small-scale factory in Nasik, whereas my main market was in Mumbai.
I had eleven workers and a supervisor. In spite of all my efforts the factory could never become profitable. The irony was that I was getting orders from my customers, most of the orders were getting executed. It was a growing market, because my machines catered to pharmaceutical industry, which had a huge potential.
My supervisor as well my workers considered it my weakness that I had to rely on them. I had to often go to Mumbai to follow up for follow up for orders. So many times, when I returned, I found all twelve people sitting idle in the factory enjoying a paid holiday, because of so many reasons like the electricity board had disconnected the power or a government inspector had asked for some details, or the fuel gas had exhausted, or some consumable got finished or the salary of the workers had got delayed by a few days.
In a short time, I also got the notice from the workers that they had joined CPI(M) union, and first I have to fulfil their list of demands.
I was harassed by the government inspectors, my raw material suppliers, workers, my financial institutions and on top of it I had to bother about new orders, proper execution of orders, performance of my company, my shareholders.
I was in a way blackmailed by my supervisor as well as workers, that I had to follow their diktat, that I had no option.
Here I was a budding entrepreneur, I should had been given encouragement to grow my business but every body including my workers, banks, government was creating hurdles in my path.
I decided hell with it and one day I sent the arears with three months extra salary to all my workers and my supervisor and sacked them. The condition was that they would get the compensation provided they resigned from the job. As the company was not doing well everybody accepted the compensation.
I cleared my term loan but there was a demand of working capital loan. SBI, my bank filed a case against me. Many of my creditors who had not been fully paid sent me legal notices. Central and regional sales tax departments sent me demand notices.
My directors threatened me that they should be paid, irrespective of the fact whether I had made profit or not. A few of the customers who had placed orders, asked for deliveries. I sent the deliveries, or returned their advances, yet they held the last payment, till their quality department cleared the goods.
It took me almost six years fighting legal battles with my commercial bank.
The lucky point was that the land and building cost escalated in that period and I got a buyer for my company with its government liabilities. My stress became manageable after that, and I cleared every body’s charge.
Finally, I learnt that the same kind of workers, performed in much worse conditions in many other factories. I wondered why they behaved so badly in my case. I learnt that basically the workers could also exploit the business owner, if they realized that the business owner was weak.
That changed my heart subconsciously. I do feel pity for the needy today. I many times give them gifts, alms, I don’t negotiate when I buy from some body poor, but I do not have that will to help him on a long-term basis.
Afterall I am a human being I have my own weaknesses, I don’t feel the necessity to go out of the way to help somebody now.

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