The mid-phase of the third year of JGW and we need to answer a question that is often asked of this pan-India festival, Is the week more important than the giving ? We have encountered cynicism before in connection with the JGW and our thoughts have been articulated in this post Cynicism and the Joy of Giving Week. Considering the immense response the week has received this year, (we have already crossed the number of registered events as compared to last year ), the question is worth examining again.
The Joy of Giving Week has its genesis in the premise that most of us do possess an inherent need to reach out and to share. However, caught up in the day to day routine life, we often forget or have no time to reach out to help. Rushed as we are, we often keep putting off all that we would like to do : clean the closet to give away what we no longer use, postpone the trip to the neighbouring NGO that runs a centre teaching underprivileged children where we would like to get involved, do not make time to help the sweeper or the maid or the watchman with their bank accounts or their child's education or accompany them to the doctor, forget to sign the cheque for a charitable hospital . All this because we procrastinate, or are not confident or simply do not know where to begin.
The JGW addressess issues like these. By participating in the various events organised in various parts of the country during JGW, we are being given an opportunity to fulfill our inner longings. We are being exposed to avenues of participation that we did not know existed. We are made aware of the organisations that need help. We get an idea about the inequities that exist. Most important, we become aware of the immense power each one of us has, to change the world by contributing. Perhaps the joy we receive by participating may spur us on to contribute throughout the year, our time, skills, resources. If that happens, we are happy to have made a positive contribution to your lives by encouraging you to participate in JGW.
But if you find yourselves unable to continue to give of your time, skills or resources throughout the year, then by participating during the JGW, you are still making a positive contribution. The JGW is then a sort of interlude before you go back to your hectic life. The JGW is a holiday by participating in which you could find yourself relaxed, happier and joyous. We still have four days to go. Come forward to participate in the JGW and give , for we need to remember that the edifice we seek to build needs pebbles as much as it does rocks.