Working towards a social cause: My opinion on the same has changed over the years. It is no longer about fraudulent NGOs and donations made to save taxes. I have seen acts of kindness in my everyday life that have moved me and inspired me. A lot of people who I know do a lot of generous gestures without any expectation of a return or recognition. I believe they do understand Life’s most basic Law that every single act of kindness love and generosity will multiply and return to you many times over.
The other day my driver was asked by a dentist friend of mine to deliver a carton full of biscuits to someplace. The driver then gives me the details:
Most of the children of the labour class are unable to afford education here in Gurgaon. There is this lady who in the confines of her two bedroom apartment has a school for such children. During the day when her family is away, each of the room in her apartment is converted into a classroom from 1 to 5. In the afternoon, the house gets converted into classrooms 6-10. People in the vicinity send goodies in the form of food, books or clothes whenever possible.
After I dropped my son at playschool, one day, I decided to visit one of my very dear friends. I called her up and she said I could come over. When I entered her home, I was in for a surprise. There were huge containers containing kheer, apples and puri sabzi spread on the dining table. Her mother- in -law tells me that every year on the day of her husband’s Shradh, she personally cooks food for the children who are educated in her garage. All the food was individually packed by my friend and her mother- in- law to be sent to the children. Now this kind of a gesture, I believe is enjoyed twice, first by the giver who revels in the pleasure of doing this act of kindness and then by the receiver who receives these acts of kindness. Any child( rich or poor) would love to eat hot kheer once in a while after school.
After I give an inferior alveolar nerve block before I start a root canal, I get chatting with the patient just to open him/ her up and make her relax. A conversation with one of my patients opened my eyes to this wonderful world of giving. He is a part of a foundation that organizes tree plantation drives in Gurgaon. The citizens who enrol themselves as members plant trees around the city and his foundation has people to look after those trees. I always felt very strongly about this issue and how nice it would be if each of us planted one tree and looked after it! By the end of two years, whole of the city would turn green! They also run cloth bag campaigns where they hand over free cloth bags to people and educate them to carry their own bags before they go shopping.
Another of my patients is the founder of a prestigious foundation. He believes that the only way we can make a huge change in the society is by bringing a change in the young children. The foundation runs schools where the children are personally taught by him to wash their hands before eating and also taught the right brushing technique. This has automatically brought a change in the childrens’ parents’ hygiene habits too. And thus they have brought a major change in the grass root level.
Our driver who has been enthusiastically taking part in the durga puja this dusshera decides to forego half of his salary to feed young girl children as a part of their festivities. I wonder what it takes to be that generous when you don’t even have enough food for your family!
After reading a very inspirational book, I have realized that giving doesn’t have to be materialistic all the time! When you come across someone, you can silently wish them happiness and joy. This kind of giving is very powerful, and after having done that I have seen people suddenly opening to me in joy and happiness.
As I type this post on my net book , my baby’s nanny comes to me and asks me how much does my netbook cost. When I mentioned the price, she said she too wanted to buy a white small netbook for her brother. I told her that it is going to cost her a few months salary. She replied that two of her sisters and she are going to contribute to buying this net book as they are very fond of her brother. Since she could not afford to continue her education, she wants her brother to study further and not miss out on what she missed in her life.
Giving and happiness are so inexplicably intertwined. Go out and give! Even if it is a smile! And see the change in your life yourself!
“Do not stand on a high pedestal and take 5 cents in your hand and say, “here, my poor man”, but be grateful that the poor man is there, so by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself. It is not the receiver that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect.” Swami Vivekananda.