The Art of Giving

“Rivers do not drink their own water, nor do tree eat their own fruit, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them.

The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others?

Even after accepting that giving is good and that one must learn to give, several questions need to be answered..

The first question is –   when should one give?

One does not know really whether one will be there tomorrow to give!

The time to give therefore is – NOW. The next question is – ‘how much to give?’

One recalls the famous incident from history.   Maharaja Rana Pratap was reeling after defeat from the Moghuls. He had lost his army, he had lost his wealth, and most important he had lost hope, his will to fight.

At that time in his darkest hour, his erstwhile minister Bhamasha came seeking him and placed his entire fortune at the disposal of Rana Pratap.  With this, Rana Pratap raised an army and lived to fight another day.

The answer to this question how much to give is – “Give as much as you can”!

The next question is – what to give?

It is not only money that can be given. It could be a flower or even a smile.

It is not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters. When you give a smile to a stranger that may be the only good thing received by him in days and weeks!

“You can give anything but you must give with your heart!

One also needs answer to this question – whom to give?

Many times we avoid giving by finding fault with the person who is seeking. However, being judgmental and rejecting a person on the presumption that he may not be the most deserving is not justified.   ”Give without being judgmental!

Next we have to answer – ‘How to give?

Coming to the manner of giving, one has to ensure that the receiver does not feel humiliated, nor the giver feels proud by giving.

‘Let not your left hand know what your right hand gives?  Charity without publicity and fanfare is the highest form of charity. ‘Give quietly!

While giving let not the recipient feel small or humiliated. After all what we give never really belonged to us.  We come to this world with nothing and will go with nothing.  The thing gifted was only with us for a temporary period.  Why then take pride in giving away something which really did not belong to us?

Give with grace and with a feeling of gratitude.

What should one feel after giving?

We all know the story of Eklavya. When Dronacharya asked him for his right thumb as “Guru = Dakshina”.  He unhesitatingly cut off the thumb and gave it to Dronacharya.

There is a little known sequel to this story..

Eklavya was asked whether he ever regretted the act of giving away his thumb when he was dying.

His reply was “Yes! I regretted this only once in my life. It was when Pandavas  were coming in to kill Dronacharya who was broken hearted  on the false news of death of his son Ashwathama and had  stopped fighting.  It was then that I regretted the loss of my thumb.  If the thumb was there, no one could have dared hurt my Guru?  The message to us is clear.

Give and never regret giving!

And the last question is – ‘How much should we provide for our heirs?

Ask yourself, ‘Are we taking away from them the”gift of work? – a source of happiness!’

The answer is given by Warren Buffett:  “Leave your kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing!

I would conclude by saying: let us learn the Art of Giving, and quoting Sant Kabir:

“When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, throw them out with both hands!  This is the wise thing to do!

Live simply. Love generously. Speak kindly.

The Gossip

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Spread like wildfire.

One branch

The next

Eating one leaf after another.

News catching the ears

Of those bent to other tasks.

And suddenly the whole world knew.

Our whole world knew.

It was as if we’d all been waiting.

Waiting for the moment that this news

This epic tale of love and possible pain

Would be brought to fruition within our ears and upon our tongues.

And we had to spread.

Had to tell.

Had to share with each other.

As if it were a message of hope and holiness

When in reality it was just gossip.

And even now.

I think of holding the blade above my tongue

Because I had to turn to whisper.

Had to leave my work and share.

But why.

I don’t understand why.

Why did I do this?

Why did I have to say these things?

Not bad,

Not good,

Just sharing news.

I wish I could have stayed.

Sat upon my seat a moment longer

Before I rushed to tell the others.

But I didn’t.

But perhaps

Perhaps next time I shall

Proud to be me

Yeah, I’m different

What do I care

At least I’m myself

And of you,

I am not scared.

You can try all you want.

But you can not hurt me

I don’t care what you say

Can’t you see Sticks and stones may break my bones

But your words will never hurt me

And even the I’m rubber and your glue

Everything you say bounces back to you.

So do yourself a favor and stop while your ahead

Because I know I’m better alive than dead

One more

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One scream

Escapes my lips

What happened

How’d it get to this?

One more scar

Bleeds and welts

No one could guess

How I felt

One more minute

I’ll give up

One more second Is preparation enough

One step

One word

One wound

One day

One tear

One scream

One scar

One minute

One second

This is how long it takes for someone to be thrown over the edge.

One hug

It brightens up my day

I smile and laugh

Nothing to say

One smile

Big as the sun

Can turn a gray day

Into one full of sun

One compliment

Straight from the heart

Keeps my world

From falling apart

One letter

Written to me

Makes it easier

For me to see

One more friend

Makes me smile

Something I haven’t done

In a while

One more dream

Keeps me alive

Shows me that

I can survive

One more day

I guess I’ll see

What it has

In store for me

One more minute

I’ll be alright

One more second

I guess I’ll fight

One hug

One smile

One compliment

One letter

One friend

One day

One minute

One second

This is all it takes to save a life.

So will you save me or turn away

Just think first about what you’re going to say.

Now I believe in me

I’m losing myself trying to compete with everyone else instead of just being me.

Don’t know where to turn. I’ve been stuck in this routine. 

I need to change my ways, instead of always being weak

I don’t wanna be afraid, I wanna wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways

So you see, I just wanna believe in me

The mirror can lie, doesn’t show you what’s inside and it, it can tell you you’re full of life.

It’s amazing what you can hide Just by putting on a smile

I don’t wanna be afraid. 

I wanna wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways

So you see, I just wanna believe in me

I’m quickly finding out.

I’m not about to break down

Not today

I guess I always knew

That I had all the strength to make it through

Not gonna be afraid

I’m going to wake up feeling beautiful today and know that I’m okay cause everyone’s perfect in unusual ways

So you see, now, now I believe in me.

Now I believe in me.

Fall

You may see me struggle but you won’t see me fall. 

Regardless if I’m weak or not I’m going to stand tall. 

Everyone says life is easy but truly living it is not.

Times get hard, people struggle and constantly get put on the spot. 

I’m going to wear the biggest smile  even though I want to cry. 

I’m going to fight to live  even though I’m destined to die and even though it’s hard and I may struggle through it all.  

You see me struggle, You will NEVER see me fall.

Shadows

With every spotlight, There is a shadow.

Are they really that scary?

They’re just unknown.

I find shadows more comfortable than the light.

In light, you are blinded, exposed no where to hide.

But the shadows You can hide in the darkness

Rely on instincts

Trust the unknown

The shadows aren’t evil,

Just misunderstood 

So would you rather be put on the Spotlight or hide in the ever peaceful Shadows