29 days of giving: Read here for more information, background on the initiative, and if you’d like to join.
This is the 29gifts.org site.
Something I fell upon quite some time ago and the thought on habit-forming 21 days struck a parallel. The site seems to be growing large since couple of months. The project is thoughtful and aims to make a difference one day at a time, and hoping by the end of the 29 days, the act of ‘giving’ has become a habit.
I’d earlier talked about givers. It is indeed a dwindling number. Giving without expectations is hard, but do-able once gets into your sub-conscious stream. It comes from good upbringing, from happy families, from secure childhood and environments and being content within ourselves. Compassion and the drive to give something wholeheartedly.
A good pertinent question is : Why should I give in the first place, never mind giving selflessly?
Honestly? I don’t know. It’s just one of those things that feels ‘right’. Not to score brownie points with your consciousness, or higher powers, but there is something to be said of the smile that your heart wears once it’s done giving. The idea is to get the heart to sing and it does when you see the happiness that your act of giving has lit. There’s tons of reasons on the web if you just look. Altruism has health benefits as the research says.
I’ve always thought that I was a giver, I tend to gift without rhyme or reason and almost always share whatever I have with me. Something that has been brought to my attention over a few years and even have asked to grow “smart”, to not give unless asked, and not to give when it seems pointless. How does one know it’s pointless? When the heart doesn’t sing, perhaps?
Recently someone I hold close to my heart told me that I love to guilt folks, by constantly cribbing and whining and complaining on them not meeting expectations. That I can never be pleased. Really? Do I? I wondered after I hung up, shocked. Happiness is instantaneous, but anything downhill, has this ugly tendency to creep up on you and then completely soak you, to marinate you in it till that’s pretty much what you taste of.
It pricked. However, I wanted to give it a fair appraisal. Perhaps my giving was tainted after all? Maybe I was expecting something in return? Consciously and as honestly as I can say all that I expected in return was a smile and a happiness that I had reached out, and perhaps an acknowledgment. But then not everyone can look at an act the way it was meant to be understood by the initiator. Hence there is a dialog on the why, what and how of the act.
That brought the question of expectations after an act of giving.
So ultimately, I come up with this question: Is there an act out there that does not have an expectation attached to it? There should be. I’ve known it, and have been at both ends of it, more on the giving than receiving, but it exists.I know. I just need to make it mainstream, coz I know there is immense happiness when one reaches out, and happiness is addictive. Figured why not make in conscious and see if it makes a difference, if not to me, to 29 different folks out there.Doubt I’d blog everyday, but it will get recorded somewhere. Maybe on my page there, maybe here, maybe once a week, I don’t know, I still haven’t figured that part out.
I have always believed that a small gesture goes a long way in making a difference in someone’s life, their day. To stay resilient and to continue to give despite its acceptance or not (there’s a fine line of passive aggression or encroachment, one needs to balance of course) and to do it elegantly, quietly and wholeheartedly. It takes patience and practice.
If you are so inclined and would like to give this some fair thought and perhaps even get started on it, here’s a video that should answer some of your basic questions.
Very very interesting post. Probably quite significant as well, in the current times.
I give. A lot. And its not boasting. I just love it. Its totally random and not planned. I feel that the more I plan to give something or plan for ages to give it on a particular day – that increases my expectations from the receiver. Not to get a gift back or anything like that. Just to show excitement. So, if someone’s not as insane as me to scream or declare publicly about the gift, I wonder, ruefully, if I expected too much or if the gift was liked.
But I realize and understand that the bottomline of sheer joy in my life is giving something to someone. It could be anything – even just listening. I’m lending my ears 🙂
I give. A lot. And its not boasting. I just love it
See, how the society’s made us apologize for actually giving? Somewhere along the way, talking about what you gave away became an unfavorable act.
Anonymous donors exist not because they are afraid of being labeled generous, but more with the hype the society would place on them and put them under the spotlight. A brag.
Somehow, one has to be able to give and not feel ashamed of it, and speak of it matter-of-fact-ly.
Am with you on the excitement. 🙂
I have heard a bit about your giving habits Nandini. Bracelets, pen stands 🙂
OK now you and ms.vishwanath can both help a poor bachelor by giving him something!
They do say that the left hand should not know what the right hand is giving!
But yes, it has become embarrassing to talk about any of one’s acts of kindness or charity.
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