To Give or Not To Give

One of the verses of the mystic poet and saint Kabir of Kashi, respected equally by Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims for his verses was as under:

जो जल बाढ़े नाव में, घर में बाढ़ै दाम
दोनों हाथ उलीचिये, यही सयानों का काम

It means, “When the wealth in the house increases, or when water fills a boat, it’s wise to throw them out with both hands.”

Why? Because wealth, after exceeding the limit of necessity becomes counterproductive. Excess of anything is bad, but when it comes to wealth, we go on amassing it by hook or by crook. The result is before all of us.

We come empty-handed and will go as such, but the pleasure for which the money is earned remains elusive. A few people go on saving for a better future of their progenies. But there is a popular saying,

पूत कपूत तो क्यों धन संचय
पूत सपूत तो क्यों धन संचय

That means, “If the son is a worthless son, why money should be saved for him, as he will throw the same for wrongdoings. And even if the son is worthy one, why money should be accumulated for him, as he himself would be capable to earn enough.”

But the question is how much should we provide for our heirs. The answer has been beautifully given by Warren Buffett, the most successful investor of the 20th century:

“One should leave the kids enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing”.

So the excess amount should be given for philanthropy and related activities, as a number of top industrialists have realised and started doing it.

The amount is immaterial. Give as much as you can! It’s not only the money that can be given. It could be a flower or even a smile. It’s not how much one gives but how one gives that really matters.

But whatever is given, it must be given with heart. There was a poor man travelling in a bus. Whenever a new passenger boarded the bus, he would stand and offer his seat. A fellow passenger asked him why he was doing so every time. He calmly replied, “I have nothing else to give.”

I have seen people giving help with pomp and show with due publicity in the media. It’s true with banks and reputed corporates too, who have to do some community service activities every year, without realising the feelings of receivers in such functions.

It’s always better to give quietly with grace and with a feeling of gratitude. It should be ensured 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.

And the time to act, to give is now. Who has seen tomorrow?

Remember, rivers do not drink their own water, nor do trees eat their own fruits, nor do rain clouds eat the grains reared by them. The wealth of the noble needs therefore to be utilised for the benefit of others.


–Kaushal Kishore

images: pinterest

37 Comments

  1. Wonderfully written. If wealth accumulates, giving is so true because I think a principle or law is govern by it, that’s my thinking. We came with nothing into the world and will go with nothing out of the world, just agree with you. . 🌍😔🌹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad that it resonates with you, Joanna. I think you must have read Alexander’s last words, “When you bury me, keep my hands outside so that the world knows that the person who conquered the world had nothing in his hand while dying.” This is the stark reality, we all should realise. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 😊💐🌹

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Today’s essay, Kaushal, is a wonderful example of your talents as a teacher and a thinker. I wholly agree with all the points you are making, except for the quote from Warren Buffett
    as I believe that you have to educate your children so they can be independent and lead interesting and productive lives since the knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire, and no one can rob you of it.
    And as a token of my appreciation for your inspirational writing, Kaushal, may I offer you a smile?

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Why do you offer? You should have smiled right away. I’m so beyond touched, Joanna. Thank you for always being there. That truly means more than I can say in words. I agree with what you have said about Warren Buffett, but if you read him, he also meant the same thing, i.e. to give kids only that much to enable them to do anything. Thanks again, Joanna, for everything.

      Like

    1. During my childhood, my parents would not give money. Instead they would ask what I wanted, and that thing would be there for me. I agree there are several ways to help a needy person. Thank you for reading and sharing your beautiful thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post is like a diamond with many facets dazzling eyes of understanding with wisdom and inspiration. I love the photo of the elephants who represent greatness, and truly, nothing is greater than giving from a heart of love. The gifts from your treasure “trunk” of truth have deeply enriched and blessed me. Thank you dear Kaushal.
    ❤️Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m elated that you think so, Michele. That’s so very kind that means the world to me. I appreciate you and your quoting treasure trunk. Your comment is a bliss. Thanks so much 💖

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  4. What a great post. I am just learning the art of giving for the joy of giving, at first it felt forced (I think perhaps because we are conditioned so much in school to perform for rewards) but the more I give quietly the more I come to unseat and the true nature of giving.

    Thank you for this post, I enjoyed your perspective on wealth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How lovely to have your thoughtful words here! It’s great that you are learning the art of giving for the sake of joy of giving. That’s the ultimate. Once you enjoy giving, there is nothing more joyful than this. Thank you for reading and sharing your own beautiful perspective.

      Like

  5. Such an indepth piece about giving and inheritance. I’ve learnt something, that we just aught to share what we have with those who need it most when they need it even if they aren’t our relatives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said, Lamittan. These acts of kindness remain forever, not material things. Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections.

      Like

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