I like to talk to poor people

I am a boy from a respectable and rich family. My family can afford to give me the best of things, but instead of enjoying all these things, I like to spend my time with my friends who are poor. I also like to talk to poor people and sometimes I even bring them home and feed them. My parents do not like me doing this and want me to talk only to boys from wealthy families. My aim is to become a social worker. What should I do?
Rohit (15)

Dear Rohit,

It is admirable that you care for those less privileged than you and want to become a social worker in future.

However, it helps to be sensitive to whether your parents feel comfortable about whom you bring home and you need to respect their wishes. At the same time, the people you bring home should also feel comfortable about coming over.

While you may feel very comfortable with your ‘friends who are poor’, it will help to reflect and examine what stops you from making friends with those who are not. Mixing with a variety of people will make you a balanced person who is attuned to the needs of people from different socio-economic backgrounds.

A wise person said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” As a social worker, you will be called upon to differentiate between ‘friendship’ and ‘social work’. So, instead of simply befriending and feeding the less privileged, you will need to help them to become self-reliant and keep their self-respect. Good luck on your caring journey!

Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.
Nasreen Hashambhoy

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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.