Thoughts on owning less and giving more and how we can balance Karma - Give more, get more
Earlier this evening I was walking around my university campus and that’s when I saw a boy, probably my age, playing with his iPhone and one small kid who was just passing by a coca cola store, which opened recently. What got me thinking is when I saw this little kid staring at one group of people having a cold cola in that hot weather. He was so desperate to have one of those, I can’t tell you.
I was born in a middle-class family and we always had to choose between need and want, as per the income. But life is pretty fair now. Our family is doing fine. But as I grew up, I realized that life doesn’t play fair with everyone. There are people out there who can’t afford even a proper one time meal. And even though the certainty for a better tomorrow remains a secret for them; they work hard every day to secure a survival diet.
80% of humanity lives on a less than $10 a day, and that is a huge percentage. Daily, we are witnessing humans creating wonders, spending huge amounts on weapons, sending drones to other planets, and the list goes on. But how these actions which include heavy investments are benefiting the people at the root level? On a bigger picture, they aren’t. Most of us are always busy, trying to multiply our money during the course of our life. Why? Just to please our inner-self. People rarely think about giving back. This self-centered living has cost humanity more than we can think of. Living self-centered life always starts with a competition. A competition to have more wealth than others, a competition to be praised more than others, and a competition about being more powerful than others. In short, it starts when one is not content with what he/she has. When we start to crave for a better car, better house, or a better job.
Once we have learned to be content, we can selflessly give others. Giving others means to give your resources, knowledge or both to someone who is not capable of reaching out. It doesn’t mean to give a beggar a $10 note. It only makes them unwilling to work and ultimately they won’t leave their comfort zone. Offer help, but to those who are willing to put their time and energy for a better world, not to someone who just sits idle in front of a temple, mosque or a church, waiting for someone to drop a coin.
I love how Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-hour work week” has decided to give back. One of his blog articles illustrates the power of giving, whether big or small. He suggests that “you can finance a girl’s education for 10 years only for $2,500 and effectively guarantee a future without poverty to an entire family.” Or “Imagine if you convince just 5 of your friends to join you in building a children’s school in Nepal dedicated to your parents (or your lifelong friendship). The total cost? 5 people x $3,000 each= $15,000.” The power of giving back individually is great, but it gets even bigger when is multiplied.
We think that by giving our resources or knowledge to others we will have less. Absurd! Whatever you give, you get back. It may be in the form of happiness, a raise in salary, a lottery ticket, a call from an old friend willing to get together and have fun or may be money, you never know. Although, it isn’t important that it should always come back in some form of material possession. You might ask “Okay. I get it. But have you participated ever?” YES! In my university, there are many labors working for construction and they have their kids, roaming around. I often buy 2-3 extra soft-drinks or ice-creams and give the extras to the kids. It makes them happy and me too. I try to make someone’s day whenever possible. It’s never late to start something good. Always remember, “You don’t need a big bank balance to give. You just need a big heart.”
So what are you giving today?