Sunday, August 9, 2009

Joy of Giving Week (Sept. 27th to Oct. 3rd 2009)

a child’s delighted laughter at a surprise gift
the smile on the face of an elderly relative at an unexpected visit
the blush on the cheeks of a woman when she receives a red rose
the deep sleep of those in an orphanage in warm clothes
the look of relief on the neighbours face while holding his hand outside an ICU
the tears of joy on the faces of the displaced when given a shelter
the gesture of thanks from the weary villager after giving him a lift
banishing silence from the hearing impaired’s life by donating a hearing aid
helping the impoverished lead lives of dignity by enabling them to earn a living
the musical chirping of the birds on the trees we have helped nurture

All of this is our reward, a reward that is a joy and one that has come our way because we have given, we have given our time, our money and shared freely our skills and services .
The happiness is a result of our giving voluntarily, because we want to give and that is why our reward is “twice blessed”, blessing both the giver and the receiver. It is because of this, that the act of giving needs to be celebrated universally for it is the one act that spreads universal happiness (Sarvaha Sukhinobavantu) Would we like to continue to experience this joy ? Of course. And how do we make it possible ? Simply by reaffirming our commitment to giving.

That is what the Joy of Giving Week is all about; a week long commitment to giving, to sharing with those we love and those in need, our time, our resources and our joy. September 27th to October 3rd, all of us in India, will come together to celebrate the Joy of Giving Week, a festival where we share and give, and measure our worth not by how many gifts we have received or how much we have spent on ourselves, but by how many lives we have touched in unexpected and pleasurable ways.

Why do we have the Joy of Giving week ? How do we give ? To whom do we give ? Why should we give ? What do we gain by giving? How do we get others to give? When do we give? How can we continue to give? Who is giving?
All these questions and more will be answered in the weeks to come as we build support for this wonderful initiative to spread immeasurable joy by giving. A story to inspire us:
A woman who was traveling alone in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, the woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation..The traveler left, rejoicing in his great fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the woman."I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."The woman smiled, "The joy of giving! (Author unknown)

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