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Chocolates - Sweetness Gone Sour
Shernaz Wadia Bookmark and Share

A lady once decided to empty out her refrigerator. She gave her odd-jobs man around ten bars of chocolate that she wouldn’t be eating. He was gratified. He knew he wouldn’t ever be able to afford chocolates worth more than three thousand rupees at one go.

When he went home and opened the packet the sweetness turned sour. Almost all of them had outlived their expiry date by at least six months. He was upset and being self-respecting he politely told her that next time she gave away anything to anyone she would do well to check its condition. Just one small chocolate given with love would have won her his respect. She hadn’t been generous, she had been patronizing.

It could well have been an oversight but there was another lady I knew personally, who had the habit of giving away stale and even musty food stuff to others; until once someone returned it to her saying it wasn’t fit for the poorest. Didn’t she think twice before doing this? Could she have been unaware that she was letting the mustiness coat her otherwise commendable nature?

Are these exceptions? I doubt so. There are many like them, who try to pass on their guilt of wastage onto others: Let that person throw out food, I can’t! I ask them “why do you buy and hoard more than you need?” Not just food, compulsive hoarders amass things they will not use for years and then hand them down when they are not worth the dustbin they should go into. The poorest of the poor have dignity which must be respected. It is selfish and utterly insensitive to degrade others by being condescending towards them. Such thoughtless acts humiliate the receiver but speak volumes about the giver’s personality. He comes through as way smaller in stature than the person he regards below him.

Apart from such wastage being criminal, it is downright rude and inconsiderate to palm off to another what we don’t find fit for our consumption. Yes, I have given very old bed-sheets to a care-giver who requested them. She needed them to keep her patient and his bed clean and not have to throw away the good bed linen every time it was soiled. I have given away more such stuff because it was needed and I was asked for it. When a specific purpose is served it is okay to pass on throw-away kind of objects.

Giving, I believe is a subtle art, not simply an act of charity; it brings joy all around. It is sharing, no matter who the recipient is. It should be seen as an opportunity to put back into circulation what we take from society and the world at large. If our giving brings happiness to us and another, then even the smallest thing given away becomes a gift that does not demean the other. When we give, it should be with an open and grateful heart, all the time blessing the beneficiaries. The blessings that come back to us will be tenfold!


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01/23/2020
More by :  Shernaz Wadia
Views: 1015      Comments: 4

Comments on this Blog

Comment Thank you Kapil. I am glad the blog resonated with you and brought back a priceless memory from your childhood.

It was very good on your mother's part to have bought new games to give to the kids. She taught you an invaluable lesson in doing so and I am sure your pleasure at seeing the children's happiness must have been twofold.

Thanks again.

Shernaz
01/29/2020 09:58 AM

Comment Hello, Dr. Raghavan. I was unable to respond to your comment till now due to some technical glitch.

Thank you for the appreciative and insightful comment.

Yes, sharing is caring. The quote is powerful. Had I read it earlier, I would have added it in my blog :-)

Sorry for the delay in replying.

Regards, shernaz


Shernaz
01/29/2020 09:53 AM

Comment Very thought provoking indeed. Many a times we just do not realize that its our trash that we are parting with in the name of charity. It may be as useless to the recipient as to us.

Reminds me of a childhood incident when my sister and me outgrew our old games and decided to donate them to poor kids. The kids were excited but at the same time dejected that none of the board games were complete - were either lacking the pieces (chess and chinese checkers) or missing cards (monopoly). We were surprised and ashamed at the same time. Surprised because we had not realized our trash was useless for them too and ashamed because of obvious reasons.

The next day our mom bought ludo and some other small games and we then donated them to the kids.

Kapil Bamba
01/29/2020 05:49 AM

Comment A well written article focusing on an important personal, and to some extent social, issue. I compliment you Ms. Shernaz on this.

Charity should always involve the spirit of sharing. One of my favorite quotes on the topic attributed to Jack London the American novelist is reproduced below.

"A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog."

This quote has a powerful message. In my house we share with our servant maid whatever we eat. She is treated like a family member. In return we get loyalty and ownership on her part.

Thanks again.

Dr. K S Raghavan
01/23/2020 10:02 AM




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