Real happiness comes from helping others. So this new year, plan a calendar of giving. Recently, I made this promise to myself. In every relationship, let us focus only on what we can give. At least we can try. It is of course difficult because everyone is taught to look for what’s in it for me? What do I get in return?
The greatest thing you can give a person is a livelihood. Helping people get a job or start a business is the best gift you can give. This gift involves giving of yourself, your influence, your wisdom and sometimes your resources. Get involved in volunteering for a cause which inspires you to share your professional skill through training and mentoring young people.
The buddhists talk of the many ways of giving. As Swami Vivekananda said, “You cannot preach about God to a man on an empty stomach.” Besides feeding the poor, we should try to support institutions that reduce the burden of survival. Join groups which help reduce poverty by promoting vegetable gardening, rearing goats and cows which could help families living on the edge of the poverty line.
The second is to enhance self esteem and confidence. Helping people recognise their knowledge and potential talent. Education and vocational training can help people work better within their situations. Don’t let your skills and resources be wasted. Pass them on.
Helping people enjoy peace and understanding them is the ultimate gift. Teaching yoga, meditation is a worthy gift. Listening with all your heart and helping in relieving burden of others are wonderful gifts which require your most import resource — time. For the greatest of all gifts, is a gift of yourself.
But you cannot give without receiving the blessing and joy. So during the New Year practice the joy of giving.
The writer is the author of Everyday Happiness Mantras