Last night I was up till about 4 a.m. [late much?], well I was studying so the cause is justifiable! At around 2 a.m. the stray dogs that reside in the empty plot behind my apartment began howling at the top of their canine lungs, honest to god howl at the moon kind [no it wasn’t a full moon]. Howling that would put even the baying of the hound of Baskerville to shame…!
The result of all this howling was well goose-flesh! I couldn’t stop wondering what could be the reason for them to express their views so loudly? It’s not that I minded it, I am just curious….here’s some of the theories my fantasy fiction reading, over-active imagination came up with:-
- A major power shift had occurred after a gang war, and the supporters of either the old or the new order were showing their displeasure or pleasure respectively.
- Somebody died. [that’s the prevailing superstition here at home]
- Somebody was about to die [yup…grandma says it]
- They are actually a bunch of hidden shape-shifters who were weeping at the unjust and judgmental nature of us Homo sapien sapiens
- [This is the best of all in my redundant opinion!]
The howling is a sign of the upcoming doom of human civilization as we know it, since 21st December is less than 60 days away, the dogs are heralding the beginning of the end o-O
While walking out of my college building yesterday, I noticed students sitting at a desk, with a banner saying “The Joy of Giving Week”. Returning to my hostel, I proceeded to satisfy my curiosity about this event using the faithful Google search engine and found that it was an philanthropic initiative to gift underprivileged people with anything and everything. Their information asked people to give items which were in good condition, because after all it was a gift. Why a gift? Why not a donation?
While donations are noble and show you support the cause, a gift signifies that your emotions and affections are tied up with it too, it’s not just a social duty, but a choice. This is what the Joy of Giving is all about. Wanting to share what you have, with someone who doesn’t. A friend of mine said that she could only give ₹30 while another person gave ₹100; she lamented it made her feel like a miser. But the joy of giving is not about how much you give, it’s also about how much you want to give, the sentiment behind the action. We all feel bad for the young mothers, begging with little ones at their hips, but don’t necessarily do anything to remedy it; the sentiment has to translate into an action.
Our gifts need not be material, sharing your time with someone; to sit and listen to them, make them feel valued is giving too. I recollect the day, when my school organised an interaction session with ladies and gentlemen from a nearby old age home. My peers and I being critical eleven year olds, were worried that we wouldn’t be able to communicate with our elderly guests, but finally we realised that it was never an issue, as they were lonely people who felt happy from the what little conversation we could make with them. This is the spirit of the joy of giving, teaching your household help’s children maths, offering your gardener water or going the extra mile and giving your books or clothes to people who need them more than you.
To certain cynics this initiative might sound idealistic and frivolous, they may argue that are we sure our gifts reach the needy? Do we really think giving a pair of jeans could really eradicate poverty? To these scholars I would say that if one feels strongly enough, they will go to the extent to make sure that these gifts are utilised as they were intended to. A pair of jeans might not bring a portion of our country over the poverty line, but it will definitely give a man something durable to wear while he works to make a living for his family, after all isn’t it said that every drop makes an ocean?
Try a small a small experiment, gift your maid pair of clothes, and greet her with a smile. Then analyse the warm feeling in your heart…yes that indeed is the joy of giving.
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