The best way to improve our own world is to help others to improve their own lives. As we improve our lives and help others on the way, the world naturally evolves. We will then be encouraged to inspire everyone to give more and get more from life. As a result, we lift up our spirit, have big dreams and place no limits on ourselves nor others.

As Christians, we think of the Christ who came not to be served but to serve in joy, in peace, and in generosity. These are not mere words, but acts, which went all the way, right up to His last breath. Even His death is a gift, and resurrection, rebirth and renewal are born from this kind of death.

When we give away, not just things we don't care about, but things we do like, it is not the size of the gift but the quality and the amount of mental attachment we overcome that count. We don't need to ruin ourselves on a momentary positive impulse, only to regret it later. Let's give thought to giving; give small things, carefully, and observe the mental processes going along with the act of releasing the little thing we like.

In my life, there had always been people who guided my path towards many adventures, challenges and painful struggles. I was not aware of the many opportunities then. I didn't have any concrete plan. It's good fortune and generosity from other people that had paved the way for me to improve myself and to have the many blessings that I have today. My heart is full of gratitude. My only regret is that, I did not have the opportunity to return the favor nor thank some of them while they were still around.

I believe that we have a moral obligation to give back some of the blessings that God ha given us. Aside from material things, we can generously share our time, knowledge and wisdom for the common good. There are many way and means that we can do them nowadays. We should, however, watch out closely that we are not, instead, nurturing our ego in doing so. Posting and sharing positive materials in social media create positive difference inside us and others directly or indirectly but over-doing them can sometimes be annoying.

Generosity and kindness doesn't mean that we give only when we have lot or after fulfilling all our needs, but in fact, we can still give when we ourselves are struggling. Generosity literally means willingness and liberty in giving away one's own money, time, talent,.... etc. sincerely without any personal gain as shown in the following narrative.

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.-― Kahlil Gibran

Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours, he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old lady got up. She was bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place  Mahatma Gandhi was sitting.

"I must see him," she insisted and going up to Mahatma Gandhi's feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Mahatma Gandhi picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully. The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of  Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Mahatma Gandhi for the coin but Mahatma Gandhi refused.

"I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh,"  Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly "yet you won't trust me with a copper coin." "This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands," Mahatma Gandhi said. "If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn't mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor old lady possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore (a unit of numbering system in India) of rupees."

We get more pleasure out of giving joy to others. We should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that we are able to give. We must make space in our lives for the things that matter, for family and friends, love and generosity, fun and joy. Otherwise, we will burn out in despair and wonder where our life went.

By Tim Pedrosa

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Tim