Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips"
by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your
Experience the Joy of Giving
by Azim Jamal
"You give but little when you give of your
possessions. It is when you give of yourself
that you truly give." -
When we stop giving, we stop receiving. If we
have clenched fists, we cannot receive. The
moment we open our fists and give, we are also
able to receive. This is how the laws of the
universe and nature work. In essence, the
concepts of rich and poor describe not how much
or how little we have, but rather how much or
how little we give of ourselves.
There are many ways to give - we can give our
time, thoughts, wealth, and guidance. Similarly,
there are many levels of giving. Some give
because they want recognition or medals or some
form of return; it is better to give even with
an ulterior motive than not to give at all.
However, the highest form of giving is selfless
and unconditional. Unconditional giving is when
we give without any thought of reward, return,
or recognition. It is far different from the
bartering concept of giving - you scratch my
back and I scratch yours - that exists in the
material world today.
The best symbol of unconditional giving is that
of a flower which gives its perfume, unasked, to
every passerby. Even when you crush a flower, it
still leaves its perfume behind. "Forgiveness is
the perfume the flower gives to the hand that
There is a Sufi story about a poor, starving man
who approached a saint and asked him, what is my
destiny. The saint replied that he did not know
the answer but that he would pray to find out.
The next day, the saint told the poor man that
there was only a bag of rice in his destiny. The
man pleaded with the saint to request God to
give him his bag of rice as soon as possible as
he was starving to death. The saint prayed for
his request. The next morning, when the poor man
woke up, he found a bag of rice sitting outside
his doorstep. Thanking his luck, he cooked the
whole bag of rice and called his neighbor and
friend to share the rice with him. By dusk, the
rice was finished.
The next morning, the poor man found two bags of
rice outside his doorstep. He continued his
ritual by cooking all the rice and inviting more
friends and neighbors, and together they ate the
rice. By dusk, the rice was finished. The next
morning, when he woke up, he found three bags of
rice at his doorstep. When the saint asked God
why the poor man was getting so many bags of
rice instead of the one He had predicted, God
told him that, because of the poor man's
generosity in his poverty, he had changed and
recreated his destiny.
Giving is a powerful way of creating abundance
in our lives, but only when we give freely and
unconditionally. We also invariably get back
what we give. Harvey and Azim have found that in
their journey of writing "The
Power of Giving", as well as
in their work.
Harvey's office participated a whole night walk
for charity. Even though the staff spent a lot
of work time and energy preparing for the walk,
the benefit in team work and unity far
outweighed the investment of time.
When Azim was in Pakistan working with Afghan
refugees, he noticed that despite their plight,
they would always receive a guest in their home
with the best food or offering they had
available. It was quite remarkable to see their
giving natures. It taught him that we don't need
wealth to give, we only need a heart. When our
hearts are open to giving, abundance in one form
or another must surely follow. It is not how
much we give that matters, it is the thought.
Just because we cannot help the whole world, it
doesn't mean we shouldn't still try to help
whomever we can.
Every minute is an opportunity to give, so let
us make sure our positive influence is
influencing whoever crosses our path for the
better - be it through a smile, a compliment, or
a lending hand. There are many, many ways of
giving, none less important or valuable than
another. It is our willingness, openness, and
attitude in giving that truly matter. The more
of ourselves we share, the more of ourselves we
find. When we help others, we open up space for
help to come to us. Happiness is like a shadow;
the more we follow it, the more it will elude
us. If instead we work toward giving happiness
to others, happiness, like the shadow, will
The beautiful prayer of St. Francis supports the
joy of giving:
"...O Divine Master, grant I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console, to be
understood as to understand, to be loved as to
love. For it is in giving that we receive."
Power of Giving" and receive a free gift.
©2008 Azim Jamal. All rights reserved.