17 May 2012 - QA 7

Do we have the right to help somebody who has refused help. Keeping in mind that their free will is sacred, should we help them?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

I want to ask you a question. Suppose there is a child who is running around on a small parapet wall, and there is a danger of falling, what will you do? Let the child have its freedom? No, you will guide the child and bring it back, right?
Similarly, if someone is into drugs, and you know it is harmful for them, won’t you go and help them? So, similarly we must try our best to you our skills to help people out of trouble.

Suppose someone is mentally ill and does not take medication, what does the family do? Allow him to be? He may get violent and hit everybody. The wise family members give his prescribed medication in juice or milk, and he feels better after drinking it.
So, there is nothing called ‘absolute’. You should always use your wisdom for the given situation. You cannot force someone in order to help them. Suppose someone wants to drive on the wrong side of the road, they cannot say it is my free will to drive on the wrong side of the road. When you are living in society, you have to follow certain norms. Similarly, even when you want to help someone, you have to follow certain norms. Don’t force, at the same time, don’t wait that someone will invite you to put out the fire in their home. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you can’t expect a phone call or an invitation to go and put out the fire. You rush to put the fire off. You volunteer, right? Understand! So take the middle path.