It is Better to Give than to Receive - By Vazira

“No-one has ever become poor by giving.” - Anne Frank.

Every year, Diwali heralds a burst of activity in every Indian household. In the center of these tumultuous days of preparing for the festival, stands the lady of the house.

This day, every year, new clothes have to be bought for the children (I am now an expert in internet fashion!), an unending supply of goodies to cook (it’s a sleight of hand!), and not to mention giving the house a thorough spring cleaning (and I’m not a spring chicken!). It was more tiring than the toughest of my teaching days. And if that’s not all, the lady of the house has to look special!!!

This Diwali was unusual. Surrounded by whoops and glees of my children, I suddenly realized how everyone deserved to smile on this day. Tired as I felt, I couldn’t help remembering that Diwali is a celebration of the victor, Good, over its adversary, Evil. Surely, that’s a reason for everyone to smile!

There are two maids who help out with the domestic chores. I gave them a saree and some cash each. I gave more cash to the fellow who cleans our car, and then I gave some to the garbage collector, and a few others, who I felt were less fortunate. I felt satisfied knowing that the money is more than welcome.

I even refrained from bargaining while shopping for Diwali with small-time roadside vendors selling lamps, candles and flowers. I could see that they could do a bit for their families with the extra cash and that was a source of great elation for me.

I could see the smiles on the faces of their children, and that proved to be exhilarating! My initial drive to see a smile on everyone on Diwali created this deep realization that giving is a wonderful thing to do! Much better than receiving!

For instance, I now understand why Bill Gates with his majestic billions, not only invests so much time and energy in third-world countries, but also his billions. He is helping millions of poor people lead a better life rather than spending it in luxurious, hedonistic living.
To change someone’s life for the better, to be the agent of that change, to put a smile on a face, are blessings, I felt.

As a teacher, it hit me right in the middle. All this while, unknowingly, I had unconditionally given and shared with my students. It dawned on me that I’m very fortunate to receive their genuine love, respect and admiration. I came to the conclusion that the very act of giving is a sacred lesson every institution should epitomize to its students.

Look at the difference a noble act of giving can make. Helping someone with money can create instant relief. Hundreds of youngsters gave their time and energy for the Teach India Movement. The soldiers of our country take it one step further by putting their lives on the line for the love of the country and its people.

The more and more I thought about it, I am convinced that every child should understand the act of giving and sharing from an early age. Not only parents, but also schools must create an atmosphere of giving and sharing.

I am of the firm belief, that teach a child a good habit and the child will keep that habit for a lifetime.
I know! I have proof!