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What is this “Feel Good factor? An emotion that brings joy to a person, elevates his self-esteem, gathers personal acceptance from others. Then, how much of feel good is actually good. Is there an upper limit? Is the amount of feel good one can attract in life a counter to depression, low self-esteem, emptiness, loss of purpose, incompetency to deal with personal life? Why does this feel good runs so high these days?  

This flood of questions surfaces from the fact that I have been surrounded with people who are hungry for feeling good in their life, a little less feel good makes their faces awful. Sometimes I just dread them. Something seems amiss with the generation whose motivation to be selfless or free is instilled from how much feel good they can derive. Can such feel good factors hold on for long.

This feel good is an over-exercised mood element, from advertisements that tell us(esp. children) how great it feels to eat coco chip filled ice creams and cakes, to, how philanthropic deeds makes us compassionate humans. Certainly, the feeling of joy in watching a child at play, or observing the serenity of nature at times is indeed pleasant, but steamed from personal endeavors; let us scrutinize the feel good factor that rules the nerves 24*7.

Undisputedly feel good is a driving force for a lot of actions in life, and it deserves its credit to set the ball rolling. Lot of present generation people who “volunteer” or associate with “xyz groups” for social causes are highly motivated by feel good.  The high on feel good individuals are also the best bet to drop off when things are not as hunky dory as they imagined it from their fairy tale beliefs :).  The belief that everything they do in life is supposed to make them feel good, and if it doesn’t something is wrong somewhere puts them in a vicious circle. Thus, the only emotion that is selectively preached and accepted is that of optimism, exuberance or jubilation, and feel good is the underlying factor here.

The chasing of this emotion sometimes leads some of our folks to donate money, used clothes, books, new blankets in winter, and so on.  This philanthropy sometimes goes unexamined.  One a winter night in Delhi, a group of docs and paramedics who worked for the rehabilitation of street dwellers and homeless in the city enlightened me to the fact that they do not blindly distribute the blankets and have replaced the practice with bubble sheets. In disbelief, I enquired, and we saw for ourselves that most of the homeless refuse the free shelters, because some great soul will distribute the blankets each night, which they sell off in the morning to fetch themselves a day’s food or rather drugs (addiction runs high in them). It revealed the foolishness of the act, which gave positivity to some of the ignorant souls sleeping in their quilts, including me. It also questions our learning: “to do the best you can to help someone” but what is the actual impact?  Does it fulfill the purpose? Thoughtful deliberations strengthen my belief that the act of change should emit from a thorough check with realities. The fanciful preaching needs to be undone, and for that our feel good factor has to be kept in check and detached from the act of service, else this trap will keep expanding.

In the same spirit the fan following of “xyz Guruji’s” is exploding today. People are very comfortable in listening to a preacher, who makes them feel good, asks to change others, often overlooking at the consequences of their own actions. So it does happens that a vegetarian gang compares his food habits with a non-vegetarian and feels great about itself. He fails to see the realities of his own act.

Now, because schooling system has made a handful of citizens achieve their materialistic fortunes, they pay homage to schooling system and consider the utopian view of 100% literacy as their best bet to crown India as a shining glory and will go blindly behind it.

Such inane acts, if dealt with minimal rationality and an urge to investigate a little about the cause as well as what I as an individual is looking for may actually lead to some reasonable impact. Feel good may not always be good.