I used to be the type of person who would think twice before giving my money to a beggar. I would be assessing their physical and mental health and if the beggar has a complete set of eyes, arms, and legs, I would not think of giving him cash even though he might be sleeping on the roadside feeling starving and cold.
Last week on Sunday afternoon, I was on my way to an outdoor parking lot and I saw a middle-aged lady with a complete set of eyes, arms, and legs standing on the roadside asking for money. I slowed down my footstep, it gave me enough time to observe my surrounding. The people around that area did not even bother to look at that old lady. I could see the look in her eyes, full of sadness and sorrow. I decided to approach her and give her small cash. The purpose of today’s blog is not to show off that I care about giving back. In fact, some readers might think that I am encouraging people to be lazy and promoting more unemployment.
In my opinion, giving small cash to her would not help her for having a better future. The purpose of my giving is to show her love. I was not only giving money, but I looked at her with the eyes of love. I might not know her full story and the reason she ends up on the roadside asking for money. But, I believe everyone deserves to feel loved by themselves and by people around them. By making her believe that she is worthy of love, it could give her strength to live another day with joy and sense of appreciation.
Can you imagine when you are having trouble and you do not have anyone to rely on? People do not even bother to look at you. How painful it must be for those who feel helpless in life, not knowing how to get out from the misery, has lack of resources to build a better life. Not everyone is born to be lucky enough with ample resources and good environment. Some of them might be struggling to make ends meet. I was born in a better family condition which my parents could afford to equip me with enough resources so that I could fight for my well-being. I might not know half of the pain from the beggars and homeless people but God blesses me and my family with more than enough resources and it is not for me to enjoy it for myself but the purpose is to give back to society who are less fortunate than us.
As I have decided to be more compassionate from this year onwards, I have developed my own law of giving:
- Turn the logic off and use your heart. At times, we choose the people we want to help. If the person has never helped us in any way, we do not even bother to help. I do not think it is the right way to do. Stop trying to justify everything. The act of kindness should be coming from the heart without hoping for anything in return.
- Do it frequently. A lot of people decided to be kinder and more generous to others only in the beginning of the month (New year, new resolution) or during festive seasons (birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year etc) It does not make any sense. Every day we are given a chance to make someone’s life a little bit better. We enjoy so many good things from the universe every waking moment in our life (for example; we are mentally and physically healthy) and do we really only decided to give back 2-3 times a year?
- Do it spontaneously. Doing good deeds for people does not have to be scheduled or planned. Be alert and mindful of people’s need. Giving back does not always need to involve money. You can give your time, your smile even your energy to people who are in need. Every day we are facing challenges and not everyone has the strength to face the challenges by themselves. Be proactive and helpful. By doing that, it inspires people around us to do the same and slowly, world will be a better place to live.
- The purpose is to make them feel happy and you need to feel happy doing it. Avoid helping people for the sake of helping or wanting to make you feel good about yourself. Keep in mind and heart that the reason for your act of kindness is to make them feel happier and you should feel happy doing it.
I would like to close this post with one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa
It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.