Christmas is also known as the season of giving, Santa Claus grants our wishes, sometimes through our parents and elders. What cheer that brings to our hearts. It is time we spread that cheer to those less fortunate and in need of being cheered up. Now, as we enter the New Year, let us resolve to light the beacon of Love with the oil of Giving.
Giving not just as in food, money, clothes etc. (all noble in themselves), but giving of ourselves. Within each of us is a treasure trove of givable wealth. Pitiable is the one who will not give. She/ he is the poorest of the poor!! It is the spirit of the gift and not its monetary value that counts.
Give away a smile and see a stranger’s sad face beam. Ignite a tiny flame of faith to dispel the darkness of someone’s despair. Lend a helping hand to a neighbor. Liven up another’s life with a little cheer. Kindle hope in a lonely heart – just be there in a caring way. Gift words of comfort, encouragement, genuine praise, appreciation, tolerance, forgiveness, understanding, a few minutes of your time.....the list is as endless as your inner vault of riches is fathomless.
Give unstintingly. Each of the above can make a priceless and thoughtful gift if well-timed. These are but simple acts of kindheartedness. Small in themselves and seemingly insignificant, they have an awesome power to heal the receiver and the giver. YOU are endowed with that power. Use it.
Give, give, give and experience the thrill of receiving manifold what you give away. It is an immutable Cosmic Law: “What goes forth from you gravitates back to you.” It has a boomerang effect, often reappearing with twice its initial force and at exactly the right time. Reflect upon this, practice it and enhance life by giving away generously, happily, abundantly.
A Divine Purpose has brought us all together here. Let us, from our little corner, start off a chain reaction of spreading love, joy, peace, tolerance, comfort and be active, positive partners in Divinity.
Thomas Gibbon, an 18th century poet has said:
“That man may last, but never lives,
Who much receives, but nothing gives;
Whom none can love, whom none can thank –
Creation’s blot, Creation’s blank.”
Happy giving away to each of you. May your fortunes multiply many times in direct proportion to what you give.
The Pain of Not Giving
How about a short account about the pain of not giving. Those who find joy in giving also feel profoundly the pain of not giving. The incident happened more than five decades ago.
Doctor was a school going boy then, with a brother two years his senior. Once they were on their way to the river for a ritual dip before going to school. It was a delightful morning, cool and pleasant. The cold north winds heralding winter were yet to arrive. Chirpily, whistling back and forth with birds, they hopped merrily through a field lush with cauliflowers, green pea pods and ladyfingers. There was also a guava tree that tantalizingly dangled sweet, fleshy fruit. Loads of it. Tempting, irresistibly tempting. It all belonged to a neighbor whom they lovingly addressed as Uncle. He was a kind and generous man, very fond of these two brothers. Even now he was there, perched on a high branch, busily plucking the delicious fruits.
The elder brother nonchalantly picked up one fat guava from a basket lying on the ground. His mouth drooled as he cleaned it with his towel. He couldn’t wait to get home and wash it before sinking his teeth into its enticing flesh. Anticipating its heavenly taste, he was about to take a bite, when the guava was rudely snatched from his hand.
“Leave these alone. Be off,” said a disgruntled old voice. The boys were startled and deeply hurt as they looked into the sulky eyes of Uncle’s mother. She was a grumpy old woman, the grid of her life, cutting deep furrows on her sallow skin. From her their eyes traveled to Uncle’s upset face. Before he could climb down from the tree and say anything to them the two boys walked away, their innocent eyes brimming with unshed tears. The day was still beautiful, but for them it had been spoilt.
They passed through the field again that day on their way home from school. They noticed that Uncle S. was still there. Hurt as they were, they began to move towards the side further from him but he shouted out their names and beckoned them. Reluctantly they went towards him.
“Look, I have been waiting eagerly all day for you to return,” he said beaming, as he wiped his face with a cloth. “Look,” he said again as he pointed to a basket of guavas, with his slightly calloused, large hands. “My son, these are all for you. Take them home and enjoy them with your family and friends. And do forgive my poor old mother for what happened earlier today.”
Instead of the one guava he was denied in the morning, the little boy was offered the day’s plucking – fifty-five guavas in all!! They couldn’t believe it! What a windfall it was! Yet, with quiet dignity, lofty for his age, the small boy refused the gift with a smile. “Thank you so much for your kindness, Uncle. I cannot accept these today. Some other day, as I am passing by here I will have one willingly.”
Tears streamed down Uncle’s face as his repeated pleas were firmly turned down. All morning he had visualized them jumping with joy when he gave them his generous gift. Now he couldn’t believe that it was being refused. In awe he hugged the little boy so full of self-respect. He was extremely pained at having been denied the joy of giving, so pained, that this kind man couldn’t sleep for many, many nights after the incident. But he had only admiration and great regard for this kid who stood miles high in stature, self-esteem and uprightness.
A year went by and another crop of ripe guavas was ready to be plucked. But time had stopped for that little boy. Cruel destiny had snatched the sober, handsome lad away from his loved ones. He no longer passed through that field. Uncle was so devastated that he could never again climb that tree or pluck its fruit. He always left it, to the delight of the village boys, to scramble up and enjoy the luscious guavas. Nor could he ever again eat the fruit that had been so impolitely denied to a tiny boy.
The anguish of not having been able to share stayed with him all his life and so he always snatched every opportunity to give.