Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Power of Giving

Living in New York means that you are constantly approached by beggars. They are strategically positioned at every subway station you enter, they wander through the train you are riding on, rattling their half empty cup in your face. They seem to have doubled their efforts during the holiday season, springing up from nowhere, leaving me bemused: what do I do to attract them so much? I never give them money. Strongly convinced that I work too hard, that building my way up from zero doesn’t entitle anyone to demand a share of my sweat-covered earnings, I simply look away from their bold eyes.

And then I had a conversation with my mom about all these panhandlers interfering with my daily commute. She seemed disheartened by my stubbornness: “don’t give much, but do give them a little”, she said. She didn’t lecture me, or gave any sensible explanation - it was more of her intuitive feeling, or maybe religious belief, that this act of kindness, this simple charity, should earn you extra points in the afterlife.

So I started carrying around some change that I could retrieve quickly out of my pocket and give to homeless people on the street, or “starving” singers on the subway. Almost immediately I felt empowered by the positive energy that seemed to be released into the air with every act of giving. It’s not about what it did for the beggar, I doubt my modest donation changed anybody’s life dramatically, but it did change me. The realization that sharing a little of what you have can contribute to the overall level of the good in the world. What you receive from giving is so much more than “the nominal value” of your donation, it brings to the surface the kindness of your heart you didn’t know was there.

I’ve been struggling with the concept of giving love for quite some time now. I know that I need to give it unconditionally to make it fully blossom in my heart, but possessiveness and distrust dictate that I should keep it under the lock. Well, maybe I can’t give much, but I could start with giving a little. Just breaking the habit of guarding my possessions, learning to give can set me on a path to liberation, when I am no longer pulled down by the weight of my unshared riches.

No comments:

Post a Comment

inside out - Free Blogger Templates, Free Wordpress Themes - by Templates para novo blogger HD TV Watch Shows Online. Unblock through myspace proxy unblock, Songs by Christian Guitar Chords