Skip to main content

How I Rediscovered Generosity

When I was a kid, and I used to watch all those poor people begging, I wished with all my heart that one day when I am rich enough, I'll help all of these people. Make their life better.

Bill Gates
Jeff Bezos
Warren Buffett
Indian Politicians

All these people made me realize one thing very early in life. Money won't ever be enough for you. There would never be a time when you'd say that you have earned the sum you always wanted to earn and now, you're just going to spend. Infact, mere idea of it seems stupid.

Money will never be enough.

This lesson was followed up by an epiphany. I don't need to wait for being rich enough to help people. I can do it whenever I want. Whenever I can.

It's a powerful thing to realize. But sometimes, you tend to forget things. Specially if everyone around you is racing to get money, more money and more and more money. Being part of the rat race, it feels uneasy to just give money to someone. I could easily spend that cash on myself or invest it to make more of it.

Such dilemma.

Recently, I found a really cool t-shirt that was a bit overpriced for me to buy. It's not that I couldn't afford it but, I didn't think it was value for money. To my surprise, a guy I know (this crackhead) offered to buy that t-shirt for me, as a gift. My world turned upside down.

Why does he wants to gift me something?
What does he wants in return?
He's not that kind of guy. But what should I give him in return?
Should I even accept such a gift?

I decided that atleast I'd treat him with pizza for this act of generosity. It didn't matter to me that the pizza would cost me even more than the t-shirt would. I was happy to do it.

So this is the joy of sharing.
Is this what Christmas and Diwali are about? Is this the reason why we send all those presents to each other?

I recognized the feeling. It's the little warm feeling you get after doing something good. I haven't felt it in a long time. I had forgotten how to be generous.

How do you remember being generous?

Well, you practice it. Do good things for others until you don't have to remember it anymore.

How would I know this is the time to be generous?
You'll know. Just keep track of any thoughts that say I could have helped, but I don't have money or time for it. That's your cue.

How much do I contribute to helping others?
It really depends person to person. For now, I'd like to keep it around 3% of my salary and as much time as I can make.

So... charity?
If you like. Although, that's not my preferred way. I like to see the people I bring smiles to. It can be a gift to a friend, or a free meal to someone, or an afternoon with your grandparents (You know you're not spending enough time with them).

Generosity comes in every shape and size. You just have to be open to do a little good.