“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ~ John Bunyan
Aristotle, one of the greatest ancient Philosophers, wrote that finding happiness and fulfillment is achieved “by loving rather than in being loved”. Having pots of money doesn’t necessarily make you happy. But giving away money — even if you’re not rich — is likely to make you feel wealthier and happier, as well.
It is interesting to note that more and more people are developing this vision of voluntarism, a powerful trait that generates the most powerful benevolent human impulses. They realize that their life belongs to the whole community, and as long as they live they should do whatever they can for others. They believe that giving takes them out of themselves and allows them to expand beyond earthly bounds. They think that making others feel more valued makes them feel more valuable. Winston Churchill emphasized, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
The magic of giving lies in the way you give. It must not be with an eye on the returns, but because you want to give. Giving with motives attached not only nullifies one’s own happiness but also burdens the receiver. It makes the other person come under the pressure of an obligation. Anonymous benevolence directed to causes that can give nothing in return, is the highest form of altruism. It is seen as the most noble of human impulses. No wonder most religions promote it. Charity, selflessness, sacrifice, and mercy.
Making others feel more valued elevates both the giver and the receiver. True giving goes deeper than the momentary sublimation. Simone de Beauvoir emphasizes: “That’s what I consider true generosity: You give your all and yet you feel as if it costs you nothing.”
Moin Qazi holds PhDs in Development Economics and English. He worked for three decades at State Bank of India in various developmental roles. He served as Chancellor’s nominee in Nagpur University and as a Member of the National Committee on Financial Inclusion at NITI Aayog. He is the recipient of the UNESCO World Politics Essay Gold Medal, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Gold Medal from Dalit Sahitya Academy and Rotary International’s Vocational Excellence Award.