The beauty of giving

The beauty of giving

We see around us that, many times, people, on achieving success, forget those who supported them during their struggle. These could be parents, siblings, friends, wife or even children.

Children, people face two kinds of poverty: first, the poverty caused by a lack of money, depriving one of even necessities like food, clothing and shelter; second, the poverty caused by the depletion of love and compassion in society.

Of these, the second kind of poverty deserves more attention because it is the basis of the first kind of poverty. If we have mutual love and compassion, we will be able to ease the troubles of those suffering from financial poverty.

However, people today are retreating within themselves, whether in villages or cities. The culture of sharing is disappearing, even among spouses. Society can maintain its balance only if we focus more on giving than taking. But today, most people only want to take.

There was a man who only wanted to take from others. He never shared anything with anyone. He dedicated his life to amassing more and more wealth. One day, while walking somewhere, he tripped and fell into a deep pit by the roadside. He tried hard to get out but failed. Helplessly, he started shouting “Help… help...”

After some time, a passer-by heard his shouts and came to the pit. He held his hand out to the man and said, “Give me your hand!” But the man in the pit did not. Even after the passer-by repeatedly asked, “Give me your hand,” the man refused to raise his hand.

Finally, the passer-by stretched out his hand again and said, “Take hold of my hand!” As soon as he heard this, the man in the pit reached out to grab the passer-by’s hand and was thus rescued.

Many of us are like the man who fell into the pit. We know only how to take from others. Such selfishness can only lead to the decline of society. We must cultivate a mind that yearns to give rather than take. Our survival hinges on mutual dependence. Our lives should not be for ourselves alone.

We are here in this world for a short time only. Just like the butterfly, which gives joy and cheerfulness to others in its short lifespan of a few days, every second of our life should benefit others. We must share our wealth and joy with others. Through mutual dependence, love and sharing, we must become one.

Love is the bindu—the centre-point of life. We should perform all our actions, remaining focused in this centre-point. Only then will we be able to both experience love for ourselves and share it with others.

Today we’ve managed to transform life into something about everything but love. It is for this reason that human beings everywhere are disappearing and in their place human-machines are taking birth. Somehow, we’ve managed to turn love—the one thing that is in fact the closest to us—into the most distant.

May there be peace on every corner of the Earth. May everyone’s stomach be full and may everyone have a roof over their head. Let there be goodness, health, happiness, peace and abundance for everyone. May Mother Nature forgive our mistakes and bless us with a time in which there are no natural disasters.

Maybe you think such prayers are unrealistic. But it is through dreams like these that we learn the direction our life should take and where we should put in effort. Every journey starts with one small step. Each of us can create small positive changes in our life. If we can all do this, it will mark the beginning of a new age.

The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian.

Mata Amritanandamayi

The New Indian Express