Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Having, Giving, Sharing and Receiving!

I was at at a local pizza place yesterday for dinner with a friend. After we had dinner there were two slices of pizza left and i asked the store guy to pack it for me. When we came out of the restaurant, there was a young lad who looked like a beggar and was asking us for money. My friend handed over the packed pizza to him and his face just lightened up. He sat on the platform and starting opening the box very eagerly.

Thats when we realized, giving feels really good. Whether its a material or whatever it may be, giving feels really good. No wonder teaching is the noblest job ever. I have been reading a lot of novels and philosophy books off late. In many of those, people are really thankful for even for the silliest of things, for example, one of the characters i read was thankful just to be born an American during world war 2. Why can't we be thankful for the fact that we don't struggle to get a meal thrice a day without giving a damn? Thankfulness and Gratitude are something thats highly underrated these days. In the modern era, how many of us even bother to thank fellow human beings for the smaller helps that they do to us?

Lets have a look at the major festivals that we celebrate every year. Tamil new year, Pongal, Birthday, Wedding Anniversary, Diwali, Christmas, Ramzan, and much more. Out of these we buy new clothes atleast for two or three of them. Just think of choosing one of these festivals every year, and instead of buying new clothes, donate it to people who can get more basic needs out of that money. Trust me, it feels damn good. When a kid sells drawing books in street, buy them. It will hardly cost 5 or 10 rupees. But the impact that it will make on the kid is significant.

I am no expert in moral values, but i think smallest of gestures can make us feel good and proud. Let us take a stand, feel good ourselves and more than that, make a difference in someone's life.

While writing this post, i couldn't help but remembering this dialogue of Joey's from Friends. Listen to it and have a good laugh :)

-Vignesh P.S.: Did someone figure out the head fake about this post ? It is a desperate attempt to prove that this blog is still not dead :)


  1. When I was passing out of college, I thought, Every month I should donate some money to some charity. I could not donate every month due to laziness and so I transferred the equivalent amount annually.

    However, about two years ago, I felt sad that I could not buy a house due to lack of money (and my inherent fear of taking house loan) and didn't bother to donate periodically. Even though I paid money in some needy cases, it was not part of the periodic donation commitment that I had when I passed out of college.

    During the time we pass out of college, we have a good heart and high spirit. The numbness of everyday life blunts those good feelings over years. I was going through such a phase and this blog post rekindled that commitment of mine :-) Thanks.

  2. Exactly my point, for many of us, the thought of giving might occur instantaneously on such situations, but very easily fades over time. That is something we should try to avoid with our full consciousness.

  3. There is a moral conundrum here. Giving to people who aren't needy is much dangerous than not giving to people who are in need. (Money and things that money can buy are largely evil)

    Once I was walking through Peelamedu. Suddenly one man approached me. Saying he and his grand daughter needs to reach home and had no money. I doubted his intentions at the very moment out of some intuition. Out of doubt, I didn't give him even a rupee. My classmate who was walking near me asked why didn't you give him anything. I told he didn't look legit to me. she was like what if he told the truth indeed?

    Last week at Chennai, I was walking with my friend. One approached me. He was having a kid with him. This time I donated. But my friend asked me why you gave him money !

    These are moments of moral confusion! But I still thought. And always fail to find an answer to this whenever someone asks me a donation. "To know the truth and give or believe out of compassion and give".

  4. Fakes even in this! It shows how much humanity has gone down over years. Fake beggars might have been something unheard of ten years back. But things change. Nevertheless, i think, as educated people, we are good enough to recognize the genuine ones and the fake ones. Also, as a safety net, i make it a point to never donate money as is. I always buy either food or clothes or some such.

  5. @vignesh: once i was at chennai-central and an old man approached saying that he lost his wallet and needed money to get to iit-m. apparently he came to chennai to meet someone/to some conference at iit-m. When i said im not giving him any money he started asking me for smaller amount(10/-) so that he can atleast call his colleague at iit-m. I showed him my phone and asked him to call the person, he insisted that i give him money.

    His english was so flawless that if he dressed properly anyone will give. I found the same person many time at the railyway station telling the same story to many.

  6. @praveen: yes it happens. That is why i always have the policy of never giving away charity as money. I buy clothes, food or whatever else someone is really in need of.