“Give till it hurts,” said Mother Teresa. When picking up the human wreckage of dying and diseased people from the pavements of Kolkata she also added, “I don’t care if a man is a rascal, a rogue or a thief. Every human being deserves to die with dignity.” She took them home, cleaned, fed them and allowed them to go peacefully. It is after her that the International Day of Charity is named and celebrated on September 5.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” said the Mahatma. All of us who are in the rat race, hoping to make it big, find this difficult to understand. We always ponder... how can we give, when we don’t have enough for ourselves? However, just think about it. If you give Rs 2,100, you can bring a child of a sex worker back to school and give him/her a chance to do well in life. Then immediately you will realise that what you have, is so much! If you want to receive more, give more. Don’t wait till you’re doing better, to give more. Start with what you have and you will have more.
Kahlil Gibran once wrote, “There are those who give with joy and that joy is their reward.” Giving is the most heart expanding, joyful, exhilarating experience. So go ahead and try it. About giving, studies have proved that volunteering has greater impact on your health than exercise or even giving up smoking. Measured on several psychological scales it was found that people enjoyed spending money on themselves. But they got a lot more happiness spending it on others.Voluntarily giving up pleasures, or strategic under consumption also led to higher well being.
So in the coming weeks, reach out to those in need. Give time, talent, thought and treasure to others to make yourself happier.
Dr Rekha Shetty is the author of Everyday Happiness Mantras