Despite the fact that some may wish to be entirely independent of others and completely self-sufficient throughout their entire life, the fact is that one must occasionally rely on others in order to make it smoothly through. Obviously, one is obligated to their parents for helping to bring them into the world and for supporting them throughout their early years. As one grows and interacts more with the world around them, they continue to accumulate other obligations. This is a natural and normal part of life, and can be part of creating one’s happiness and satisfaction–as long as they fulfill these obligations.
The Importance of Fulfilling One’s Obligations
There is great satisfaction to be obtained when one contributes to others around him, especially when he contributes as much as or even more than is contributed to him. Conversely, one can feel quite uncomfortable when they receive far more than they are able to give to others; experiencing an imbalance that they desire to set right. The impulse to fulfill one’s obligations and contribute to others as they have contributed to them begins quite early in one’s life. Babies and young children are quite aware of the fact that they are constantly receiving many things from the adults around them, which is obligating them to give back. They try to give back by smiling often, presenting various simple gifts and trying to help the adults around them. It’s true that their attempts to help and give back can be quite rough and clumsy, and that one must be patient in receiving them. Unfortunately, when these attempts are shot down or refused, the child can become certain that it is impossible for them to actually repay the debt they owe others, which can lead to disparaging and even criminal thoughts and activities. One basically feels so entirely unable to contribute to others that they give up, even as more obligations continue to pile up.
In order to promote true happiness, one should never incur more obligations than it is possible for him to actually discharge or repay. It is true that not all obligations are financial in nature, and many times it can be found that simply reaching out to help another in return for help received is quite satisfying. To this end, one should always accept the efforts of others to discharge and repay their obligations–as they too will achieve great satisfaction and happiness by doing so.