The Greek term for the word “Giving” is “dosis,” which literal meaning is “Gift.” I believe this truly justifies the meaning and sense of the word. Giving should be in terms of gift, which never carries the policy of return (Payback) and is always maintained in contentment, only to sense someone worthy in relation to us. But let’s keep this definition aside for a while and look into the present terms of giving.
Before writing this article I found four attitude of giving. I believe everyone under the sun will fall somewhere among these four attitudes of giving.
- Business – Class Giving: In our life when we give something to someone, we often tune into the game of pure business. Our attitude of giving is mostly sketched on balance sheet of “Profit & Loss”. We give something to someone in order to take four fold profits out of that. Here we are not giving, we are investing, so that we can earn later on. Those who thinks it’s good to be Business class giver and giving is an investment, for them I have two questions – ‘What have you invested for your birth?’ and ‘What have you invested for your culture?’
- Advertisement – Class Giving: In this class of giving attitude, we give so that our name will be advertised. All will know that I have contributed for so and so cause. My name will be flashed and I will be praised by others as a generous personality.
I remember few years back, we few youths from our church went to a man for donation for a social activity. Immediately that man gave us a positive reply. But before giving donation he wanted to check our Money Receipt book, so that he can become the highest donor in the donors list.
That was truly an embarrassment for us. The Bible says, “When we are giving, our left hand should not know what our right hand is giving.” This standard of secrecy we need to maintain when we are giving something to someone. But are we up to this standard of giving? Are we giving or doing an advertisement?
- Economy – Class Giving: In this class of giving attitude, we become very economical. It’s like we are going on a trip in the month end. This we often see during festival or celebration time. During festivals the sweet packet from our family goes after a cross-check of the sweet packets from our relative’s family. During marriage days we often keep records of the gifts given by our dear ones, so that in future we will also gift them the same amount of gift what we receive from them. Are we giving or doing a comparative study of giving and proving ourselves better? “God loves a cheerful giver” – The Bible says. Let’s not forget that.
- Gratitude – Class Giving: Givers belong to this class always consider their ‘attitude of giving’ as ‘an attitude of gratitude’ towards God. They always consider their possessions on earth as a blessing from God, which they don’t deserve. I would like to stand with them. Because our birth, our culture, our language, our race, our earthly possession etc., all we have since our birth for which we had not invested at all. Do we deserve that or it’s a grace from God our our Parents?
Yesterday someone shared me the story of an old man from Chennai whom Rajnikant, The Thalaiva adopted as father. That old man spent his earnings for the cause of poor and destitute people. Even he spent his pension in giving to poor on street.
Many people like such old man are around us, who never comes to limelight but they always consider their life and possession as God’s grace and by giving it to needy is accomplishing the attitude of gratitude towards God.
Every human being is into the attitude of giving from some point of reference but the matter is what about our attitude to the person/sect whom we are giving.
“How you are giving matters more than what you are giving!”
Once we both husband and wife were on the Park Street in front of a Rolls Stall waiting for the man to deliver us one chicken roll each as we were returning back from the hospital and were starving. When I was given the roll by the man, a boy came and ask the stall owner to give something to eat. I thought I will give away my roll to the boy and order one more for myself. While I was deciding that in my mind the stall owner drove away the kid and he ran away from that place. A verse from the book Proverbs immediately came to my mind at that moment:
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
The poor boy needed it as he was hungry. The roll was due to him and it was under my power to hand it over to him which I didn’t do or took time to do… And ultimately loosing an opportunity to help a poor, hungry kid. 😦
I had probably shared this story of my life many times on different platforms or even here on Candles Online too but I can’t forget the lesson God taught me that day through that powerful verse.
Giving is an deliberate action and doesn’t always depend upon our emotions. We need to practice it on a daily basis. When God gives, He doesn’t see who’s good or bad. He provides rain and sunshine to all irrespective of their characters and actions. He does it deliberately because that’s His nature, His character, His attitude. When He doesn’t withhold good things from His created beings then we being created in His own image, how can we withhold good things from our fellow human beings??? We need to ponder about it seriously.
Keep reading and keep sharing your hearts to us…
As soon as I came to know about this week’s topic one thing that struck my mind instantly is an old saying:
“Neki Kar Dariya Mein Daal“
Which translates to do good and forget it. We can also put it this way: never keep an account of good things you do. This reminds me of a very recent incident that happened in my life.
One of my friend texted me asking me for help as his mother was supposed to undergo a heart operation. He needed some funds and I instantly arranged the requisite amount. Within a span of two days I got another text from another friend and message was same. That reminded me of similar message before the one I spoke about now. The count is three. I was worried as I thought some hacking might have taken place and I have been duped (though I haven’t given any account details). I discussed the same with my husband. He very calmly said “only two things would happen, either the guy would return the money or not. In first case you would have the satisfaction of helping your friend in time of need. And in the second case which could be the worst scenario you have a lesson learnt but hard way. But in any case your intention to help and clear conscience can never be questioned and that’s all that matters. Now just relax and forget about that incident” he said. I was spellbound.
When we keep an account of things we do for others there is very high probability that we expect favours in return. And that simply questions our conscience. That’s why it is said in new testament of Bible (I am sorry if I am wrong, as I read Bible’s new testament long back, do correct me): left hand shouldn’t know about the charity done by the right hand. If we intend to help someone then no one else should know about that, there’s absolutely no need for that. Any amount of bragging or boasting is publicity but no charity, no help.
Service should be the only motto: what could be a better example for service to mankind than Gurdwara services. Feeding and sheltering homeless hungry people without raising questions of any sort and without expecting even a single penny is the most ideal example for what “service to mankind” means. Everyone is welcome there.
For me giving is not only about helping someone in need. It’s also about giving back to society what is due. Being a responsible citizen, carrying out all duties instead of just fighting for rights is the first and foremost step in this direction. Be it paying taxes in time and correctly, be it planting a plant in society compound, be it respecting senior citizens- anything that strives for a peaceful present and a better future is our contribution to our society. Don’t you all agree?