Well-Being//

The More You Give, The More You Prosper

Why this apparently paradoxical saying holds more weight today than ever before.

Kindness Contagion. Image created by Adam Niklewicz/ Unsplash. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Kindness Contagion. Image created by Adam Niklewicz/ Unsplash. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.

We have all heard this profound saying. It really sounds contradictory. If we think logically, say you have two apples, if you give away one, you are left with just one apple with you. It means if you give, you are left with less than what you had earlier. As a child, I was told about sharing, giving and helping others and how doing so will help me grow as an individual. With my logical mindset, I didn’t quite understand what it meant then. 

So as a kid, if I really worked hard on a particular project or notes, I was very reluctant to share it with my classmates. Continuing my previous example, if the other person has what he has, that is two apples, and if I give one apple out of the two I had, then he will have three apples and I will be left with only one. So obviously, my classmate will do better than me, if I give. Hence, I didn’t like sharing and it made me feel really uncomfortable losing what I had. 

Being selfless and giving without any expectation of getting anything in return is not easy.  Gradually as I aged, I observed that a lot of people who were actually contributing to society and doing good for people felt quite content. I say this because I met a few of them and saw how happy they were. 

It made me question the logical mindset that I had, maybe the happiness of giving is beyond the normal math we do by subtracting what we had and adding that to someone else’s bucket. It was then that I noticed, whether it was sharing knowledge or giving food to those in need, the level of happiness and contentment I felt was beyond happiness I felt with materialistic things in life. I realised that the contentment you feel after sharing is much more than the unrest of holding back what you have, whether it is your notes, time, money or even ideas. 

Later another question came to my mind, what all can I give? What if I don’t have enough to give? And how can I make a difference to the lives of others if I don’t have enough to spare? Then I realised, it’s not about how much you can give, but whether you have the intent to give. It’s your intent and your attitude of giving that can make a difference in the life of others. All you need to do is take a small step towards this intent of giving, even by bringing a smile to someone’s face will make you feel happy. You will forget about what you have given if you notice how your small act has benefited the other person. 

This experience and feeling will make you more prosperous. By prosperous, I don’t mean that you will start seeing profits in your business or someday after all the good that you have done, society will take care of your factory and it will automatically function well.  I mean you will grow to become a better human being if you contribute whatever little you have to do good for someone else.  

Giving doesn’t just mean money, it can be happiness, sharing your thoughts/ideas, food or whatever you feel you can give to help others. You never know how your gesture or intent of giving can make a huge impact on society and the country. A perfect example which I can recall here is of my Alma Mater Banaras Hindu University (BHU), which was founded by Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya. When he started this university, he didn’t have much money, all he had was the intent to make society better by educating more and more people. This intent has made BHU one of the prestigious universities where it ranks third amongst the top universities in our country and is one of the best in the world. 

So it doesn’t matter what you have, take the first step and you will be surprised how much you can prosper and the difference it can make to your quality of life and to others. 

Whether you are offering emotional support to your friend, volunteering with an organisation for a good cause or donating money or food, selfless caring acts are beyond what you can give anyone. One of the biggest advantages of giving is that it makes you feel good about yourself and fills you with positivity with the way you can make a difference in the life of others. It not just helps create a positive environment around you, but also brings in a greater sense of personal satisfaction and growth. 

As Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Giving helps you stay positive and look at the brighter side. Our life is all about the contribution we make in the life of others and the difference we make in society. That’s how we will be remembered, by the legacy we leave behind with the way we bring happiness around us. So let’s use this gift of giving, spread happiness around us and do whatever bit we can to make a difference in the life of others.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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