The Joy of Giving Week

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18th October, 2022

I’ve been thinking about the act of giving for some time now.

I’ve been reflecting on how much do I give compared to how much I take.

This Diwali week, Lets explore the question of

“What can I give back?”

There are all sorts of needs in the world. Your giving could be as small as writing a “Thank You” note or as big as donating a part of your corpus, time and effort for the needy.

No job is too small. You can create your own amazing giving routine or you can partner with others or join an NGO like the Rotary, Lions etc.

Find your own interests; there is something for you to do! Do it.

This Festive week, Give your life for others, live for others, try to put a smile on their face.

Indeed kindness is contagious.  A small act has the power to spread happiness far and wide. We have all heard this and experienced it too, even if in small ways.

We also know that kindness should come from real empathy, never with the expectation of receiving something in return.

But though most of us instinctively like to help those less fortunate, most do not know where to begin.

The vastness of the need we see around paralyses us – and time and life go on.

It is best to start small — Start with the easiest and most intuitive stuff and then see where it leads you.

Follow your instinct; indulge a sudden urge of helping someone, be impulsive in giving.

Do what makes you feel good. We have instituted a rule in our house – every daily helper — maid, gardener or cook — gets a meal. Others who come by occasionally – an electrician or someone to repair etc– get tea and snacks each time. I think that is a simple gesture but goes a long way.

Another idea, which really picked up during Covid,  is to buy food stuff for the families of your maid, driver, gardener, guards or the street safai karamcharis — over and above the salary you pay them.

On festivals and birthdays, you could get them the full month’s ration of food.

A longer lasting, more effective method would be for every family to take responsibility for the education of at least one underprivileged child. Pay the school fees, buy the uniform and books for the child of your maid or driver.

Should you give money to beggars? Always a dilemma! I resolve this by giving money to only those who cannot possibly work — either because they are too old, ill or handicapped. Some people hand out food and clothes they keep in their cars instead.

I keep a box of chocolates and give to the little children outside temples and other places. It always brings a smile to their face.

I used to feel cheated and protest when various roadside vendors overcharged. Today I look at it as another way to help out the less privileged. So, I have stopped negotiating with them.

You have two hands. One to help ourself, the second to help others.

I think we should all chalk out a structured plan for regular help and also indulge instinctive acts of kindness as a daily habit – yes, even an extra smile, some encouragement, mentoring or good advice count.

Do it selflessly and enjoy the satisfaction it gives you.

Do share the small acts of kindness you indulge in! Some people say, don’t advertise what you give; I say, share your giving with others, maybe it will inspire them to give and maybe a chain of giving and sharing will start leading to a ripple effect. The world needs more of that.

This Festive season, we all will surely have a Happy, fun filled & Prosperous Diwali but there are many others who are less fortunate than us, who may not.

Don’t let them feel that,  Lets include them in our love by Giving and sharing, by Loving and caring.

Let there be smiles all around,

Let this Diwali be a Joy of giving Diwali

Let’s Give someone a reason to smile this Diwali,

and Stay Blessed Forever.