I've had just enough time... to give and to receive...
|A tribute to all who gives...|
The last two years were the toughest in my working life. It was a mixture of extremes, some of my greatest achievements and fulfillment mixed in with some of the unhappiest moments and heart-breaking failures. There were several junctures during this period of living dangerously when I was more than ready to throw in the towel, to call it quits and walk into the sunset. But somehow I persevere. I made it through to this point, another crossroads in my life. I made it because of friends who believe in me, who stood by me and who needed me to carry on. But I also made it because the act of giving gives me enough strength to withstand the hurts.
|To all who empathizes...|
I was given the task of setting up a new business/company and to transform another, one in which I had been working for a very long time. In just a year, the new company radically changes the very industry in which it was in and its innovative product became a household name. And it is on its way to be a successful company with modern management and a compassionate attitude towards its workers.
|To all who cares...|
But transforming the old company proves to be akin to moving an elephant that does not want to be moved. I pushed and pushed and hurt my back. And to add insult to injury, the village condemned me for disrupting the nature of things. I was the madman for trying to move an elephant. And I underestimated the vindictiveness of dead woods. Their poisons infected all who came near them and in the jungle where they inhabit, they protect themselves with vapors that blinded man of their own follies. Only little Napoleans staking out their little turfs thrived in the swamp of decays. Even with the support of people who believe in me, it was a lonely bruising fight and I came to question what I was fighting for. I have many good reasons to leave and only a few to stay. One of which being a leader of a tribe, I’m duty bound to improve their lots for them but even this has a limit which in honesty I feel I’ve more than fulfilled.
|The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention |
- Oscar Wilde
It was during this period that I made a pledge. If I can last two years, I will put aside a part of my salary enough to donate a kidney machine for the hospital of my charitable organization of choice. Sometimes, when the going got really tough and I was left with little to hang on; the thought that I was not only fighting for myself or even my friends but also for others who needed help was the little extra that helped me got through another day. Another bitter contention. Another injustice. Another insult. The two years had passed. The kidney machine I donated is now in operation in a hospital.
|No one has ever becomes poor by giving |
- Anne Frank
Recently, a friend in need wrote me a quote from Oscar Wilde “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”. I thought about that and felt guilty how often my grand intentions did not translate into acts of kindness. I resolve to intend less and try to do more. I’m not a well-to-do man. Far from it. But I’ve enough for my need. And I feel it one really wants to give, then one should give until it hurts. I would like to be one of those really generous soul, one of those that feels only joy when they give. I am not nor pretends to be. When I give, a lot; it also hurts. In the sense that the sum I gave away I could have used it to change a new computer, down payment for a new set of wheels, go on that faraway vacation I’ve always wanted. You get my drift. I can only afford my charity by denying myself some 'wants'. I am not a saintly giver. I gave in spite of sacrifices. But I don’t give for recognition. That kidney machine is donated anonymously. And Thou San is not my real name. This blog is used for both reflection and a record of my journey through Life.
|It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving |
- Mother Teresa
I am a selfish giver though. In the sense, I know the act of giving has its rewards. I am not religious and don’t look for my rewards in the next life. I select my charitable organization carefully, for what they do rather than their belief. Thus, of the two main charities I contributed to; one is a Christian and the other a Buddhist. I believe when you work to helping others, you empower yourself. It makes you feel good. It gives you strength. It gives meanings to your struggle and existence. That was how it gave me the reason to continue the struggle when I could no longer find enough reasons to struggle for myself these last two years. That should be reward enough.
|The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayers |
- Mahatma Gandhi
Now, a new year has come round the corner. It is another beginning. I look at the long road ahead and can already feel the fatigue of the journey. I am not a pessimist. If anything, it is the opposite of that. I’m more of a realist with too much hope to be considered one and too little to be considered an optimist. I know it is a long tough road and I need all the help I can get. So I make another pledge. If I cannot make it another two years than half of something is still better than none.
|So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you |
- Charles Dickens
I will leave it with this wish from Charles Dickens to all my readers –
“So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you!”