“I have seen many persons coming and presenting you with boxes of mithai (sweets) to thank you for some work that you’ve done for them. Most of the time, you keep the box unopened. But, sometimes, you open the box immediately, have a small piece of mithai, and then keep it. Do you do this at random, or is there some logic behind this?” I asked the social worker.
The social worker replied, “If a box of mithai is presented by an affluent or a middle-class person, I don’t open it. However, if it’s presented by a poor person, I make it a point to open it and eat a piece. That’s because of two reasons. Firstly, while the cost of the mithai is no big deal for an affluent or a middle-class person, the poor person has probably spent a significant portion of his daily salary to buy the mithai, maybe he and his family have had to skip a meal or eat less food than usual, so I want him to have the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve eaten at least one piece of the mithai presented by him. Secondly, while affluent or middle-class persons buy the mithai from a premium confectioner, poor persons generally buy the mithai from a local shop. I do not want any poor person to feel that the mithai presented by him is not good enough for me.”