Thursday, August 20, 2009

Audacity of Hope

Nothing can describe the Joy of Giving Week better than the title of Obama’s book. The idea that people will respond overwhelmingly to the concept of giving seems to be naive, ambitious and audacious for it presupposes that we all want to share. Yet there is also within this the promise of a hope that we would be rewarded for this. That this is what is commonly believed is borne out by the fact that a majority of people will be participating in this unique ‘giving movement’.
What is it about the Joy of Giving Week that has attracted people from all parts of the country, from all walks of life, each of them commiting themselves to be a part of the giving week and working hard towards contributing for the same. Is it the publicity that is being given to it by the media ? Is it the endorsement by filmstars, sports persons and corporate bigwigs ? Is it the fact that the concept is novel and is being introduced for the first time in India ? Would the response go down if this were to be repeated year after year? Not really, if one were to judge by the number of people signing up to Run for a Cause in the Standard Chartered Marathon. The numbers go on increasing every year and we anticipate the same will hold true of the Joy of Giving week.

The answers are quite simple actually. A large part of the popularity of the Joy of Giving Week is because it is perceived as a national movement, and no one person can claim ownership, not even Give India that has launched this. Neither can any person impose conditions on how one should be contributing. Yes, there are people to help out with ideas and suggestions on the various ways one can contribute, (check out or follow Joy of Giving Week on Facebook, Twitter , Orkut or Ibibo for ideas) but ultimately it is up to the individuals, schools, colleges, or corporates to decide if they want to contribute and how. The enthusiasm generated by the Joy of Giving week, can be attributed in a large measure to its very inclusiveness; both in number and mode of participation; it excludes nobody, and it does not claim to advice, there is no right or wrong way of participation, it is absolutely unconditional and non-judgmental.

At a time when cynicism, consumerism and ambition seem to rule the day (we are not being judgmental here), the Joy of Giving week, comes as a reminder to us to go down to the basics and learn to share and give. It reminds us that the little that we have gets doubled when shared with others. It reminds us that nothing can be greater than giving, for giving, is a blessing.

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