Doing the Needful

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“Do the needful” is an expression which means “do that which is necessary”, with the respectful implication that the other party is trusted to understand what needs doing without being given detailed instruction. The phrase is common in Indian English; its direct translation in Hindi is <sic> {jaruri} [za-roo-ree].

Please do the needful is something that I hear frequently at work. It is sometimes frustrating because often I don’t KNOW that needs to be done and the implication in the statement is that I should. In the context of work, that is often frustrating and difficult.


It is also something that makes everyone smile because it seems to be automatic for some people to say without there actually being anything that needs to be done.

Yesterday I did the needful. I started working toward finding a different rheumatologist. I really liked the way the one I have now took interest in my finger when it was way weirded out, but I don’t like that I never actually see her ever ever ever. I only get to see the PA… which is, I guess, okay, but sometimes you kind of actually need to talk to the doctor. And I pay $6 for the privelege to park at the Dr’s office. And I have to leave work an hour before my appointment and walk to my car (a nice walk, but… I should be working) and drive 3 miles to the doctor’s office. It would be way cheaper and more convenient to have my infusions 2 miles from home.


This morning… this morning, I did the needful. I didn’t, maybe, do what needed to be done, or even what needed doing… but I did what I needed to do. I usually walk the same general way every morning. I sometimes cross the street early. I SOMETIMES even walk to the far end of the parking lot to take pictures. OCCASIONALLY I will walk down the grassy embankment between the drive up into the parking lot outside of the Tower City complex… all in the interest of enjoying the morning and getting pictures. But it means I get a shit ton of the same pictures. Different lighting… different accutriments… same general pictures. This morning, I took a detour. I ended up being 20 minutes later than usual to work but it was an incredible detour.


I walked to the lower parking lot this morning. The one that I can see from my office window. The one that is RIGHT along the river. I’ve considered going down there several times, but I always think… later… I have things that I need to do. I need to get to work and I need to do what I need to do. This morning… I walked down into the lower parking lot and it was an amazing detour.


I fully understand that I looked like a freak down there taking pictures when everyone else was hurrying to work, getting on the shuttle, hurry scurry… but… I walked almost the full length of the parking lot, down around the bend, and I had an amazing morning. I was all alone. Everyone seemed to be giving me a rather wide berth. All but the gulls. They kind of hung around…


It isn’t something I can do every day. It isn’t something I would want to do every day. Today, it was what I needed to do, and what needed to be done. And it was wonderful.

Wherever you are… whatever you can do… find a way to do the needful.  Find some way to do what your spirit needs for you to do…

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