By the usual human methods of determining cause and effect, it may not be readily apparent that the act of Giving is a powerful force for true wellbeing of the giver. But it is. The act of giving, just like its opposite, the act of non-giving and even unjust taking away, is as old as mankind. In various human societies, the ancients as well as we in modern times have been on one side or the other of these attitudes. Some people give meagerly, some give moderately and some do so profusely, while others focus in the opposite direction sometimes callously and viciously. In this post, we will focus on the assertion that the act of Giving is a powerful force for true wellbeing of the giver.
Generous people use different modalities and have different focal points for their operations and activities. Some people give money, some give their time and some give of their knowledge. Despite these variations in focus and mode of operation,, these benevolent individuals, by and large, share some common characteristics. These characteristics include positive attitude, selflessness, intensity, drive and a tireless desire to alleviate suffering. These are characteristics one would expect in most human beings and indeed, every society has its own share of generous people. However, what cannot be denied is that some societies have far more generous people than others. We will not dwell on the possible reasons for those differences in this post. What we can say is that no matter which society an individual resides, the act of Giving is a powerful force for true wellbeing of the giver.
An almost invisible dimension of giving is that quite often, the giver is suddenly ushered in through an unexpected door or gateway into the unalloyed beauty of the mind of a grateful, “poor, underprivileged” recipient. This door, the gateway, by itself characterized by the mode of response of the recipient whose suffering is significantly relieved, and the nature of the gratitude speaks volumes. Volumes which can touch the soul of the giver only as the birth of a child can. Imagine the inner peace and contentment the giver experiences in this situation and the cumulative effect of similar occurrences over time. How then can anyone argue about the fact that the act of Giving is a powerful force for true wellbeing. Well, some do, and just keep an open mind as you ponder their words.
Jack Ma is founder of the e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group, and according to Forbes, his net worth is $27.4 Billion. Apparently frustrated about the less than satisfactory outcome after trying so hard to help poor people, this is what he had to say:
“The worst people to serve are the Poor people. Give them free, they think it’s a trap. Tell them it’s a small investment, they’ll say can’t earn much. Tell them to come in big, they’ll say no money. Tell them try new things, they’ll say no experience. Tell them it’s traditional business, they’ll say hard to do. Tell them it’s a new business model, they’ll say it’s MLM. (MLM is Multi Level Marketing). Tell them to run a shop, they’ll say no freedom. Tell them run new business, they’ll say no expertise.
They do have somethings in common: They love to ask google, listen to friends who are as hopeless as them, they think more than a university professor and do less than a blind man. Just ask them, what can they do. They won’t be able to answer you. My conclusion: Instead of your heart beating faster, why not you just act faster a bit; instead of just thinking about it, why not do something about it. Poor people fail because of one common behaviour: Their Whole Life is About Waiting.”
So, there it is. If you believe Jack Ma, can you really say the act of Giving is a powerful force for true wellbeing for you? I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. This much I will say. Based on nearly forty years experience in the arena of “Giving” (though without the gargantuan possession of Jack Ma), involving those who are closest to one and beyond, I affirm that his statements should not be dismissed en masse. The frustration is understandable. It is clearly human. That said, unsatisfactory ROI (Return On Investment), whatever the nature of that investment on human beings should not dissuade us from pursuing what the great Athenian (Greek) philosopher, Plato (428/427 – 348/347 BCE) called “The Idea of “The Good”. In spite of the frustration, the quest and pursuit of “The Good” should be the core of human existence, poor or rich. It should be a universal unending quest.
So, eat healthy, keep moving, exercise at least three times a week, 45 minutes to one hour per session, keep learning new things and you are on your way to wellness and you would avoid rust. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I really look forward to your comments.