Giving Back

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Nature, Here is a solution to be happy and peaceful…


Man is an intelligent being and lives in a society.  To improve the standards of living of society, scientists continuously seek to discover new technology and machines.  These are done by utilizing the endless treasures provided by Mother Nature to make our lives comfortable and easy.  It most certainly improves the quality of life.  It is obvious that the blessings of materialism can remove the hardships of work, the anguish of poverty and the pain of illness to a great extent.  In spite of being provided with highest standard of living, with unlimited food, luxurious facilities and loved ones to enjoy with, it is a fact that man can’t be happy emotionally for a long time.  There is a solution to this, and that solution is the need of the hour: giving back to the society.

What is giving back to society?  Let us start from the beginning.  We are born in this world as vulnerable babies.  Someone, mother or father or someone else, take care of us, giving us food and shelter, education, moral support and monetary support until we grow up to be an independent individual.

Now, from where does this food, shelter and education come?  Some farmer has grown the food through his hard work with the help of natural resources like rain and fertile earth.  Shelter, the house which shelters you, is also the handwork of some mason and carpenter using the resources from nature.  Education could be given to us because somebody has started and maintained a system of education with teachers, staff and other resources.  We could grow and enrich ourselves into an independent personality only because of the selfless effort and dedication of so many people.  Everything actually belongs to the society.  Society is a co-operative endeavour that provides help to individuals.

But here again, everyone is not lucky.  These commodities are not in abundance as such in nature.  There is a cost for most of these facilities and food, etc.  The ability to bear this cost decides if one is privileged or not to access all these limited resources.  So, money plays an important role in the society in terms of privilege to use and procure the resources.

The less privileged or underprivileged people in society don’t get enough food, proper shelter or medicine, which are basic requirements for survival.  The destitute constitute about 20-30% of the population, who are struggling to manage a single meal a day.  The older people die due to lack of food and proper shelter in winter and the rainy season.  Their kids are malnourished and die of hunger and don’t even have access to primary education.  Some of these kids are exploited and harassed and sent to beg, just for a meal.

In some villages, people have to go through daily hardships for potable water.  These hapless villages with scanty rain struggle to keep their farming alive, which is the only thing that provides for their survival.  The list of daily struggles of the underprivileged is endless.

So, it is our responsibility to do something that is in our control to help these hapless ones.  It can be monetary help towards education but merely signing a cheque for fees is not going to help much; one needs to build some accountability in terms of performance from the beneficiaries.  And mentoring them on a regular basis helps.  We can volunteer for an irrigation project in a rain-deprived village or teach the underprivileged some vocational skills for them to forge a sustainable life.

So, if one is lucky to utilize the resources from society and become self-sufficient, it is his responsibility to give back to the society by supporting a social cause in monetary terms or as service.  Only then will the cycle of life come full circle.  This is the law of nature.

In the eternal words of Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  When we give back, the compassion within ourselves expands and we value and dedicate a part of ourselves to activities and service for the common good.  You as an individual grow and progress in life.

Norman Mugisha, a scholar from Earth University, says, “We rise by lifting others.  Giving back builds hope, and where there is hope, there is future.”  How apt and true are these words!

In today’s world, where people are becoming more and more cruel to fellow beings just for their selfish desires and pleasures, hope is a positive attribute which can bring change.  Every positive change starts with a noble thought and the strength of hope surrounding it.

When an individual is doing a good deed for a noble cause, it strengthens that hope.  Many more good deeds will follow.  So, there is a need for role models here.  When we start doing social service, we start to understand the struggles the unfortunate co-beings are undergoing, which awakens compassion in us.  We experience the joy of sharing and helping and get inspired to do more.  We become more satisfied and content beings.  This brings peace and harmony and in turn, leads to the prosperity of the whole society.  Which reminds me these famous words from Winston Churchill: “You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.”

Let us pledge to give back to society and be morally responsible and compassionate individuals who contribute for the common good.

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