Giving

The Power of Giving #GivingTuesday

The Giving Tree vidya sury

Quite appropriately, Giving Tuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. How nice to focus on Giving rather than accumulating! Such an easy way to find happiness and make the world a better place by getting your family, community and work colleagues together to give back, or just give. More about Giving Tuesday here.

giving Vidya Sury

But why bother giving?

  • Giving makes us happy – when you give, you are on a “high” – even your brain loves it
  • Giving is good for our health
  • Giving results in social connections. When we give, we get back
  • Giving makes us feel grateful and count our blessings
  • Giving makes us optimistic and positive
  • Giving triggers a chain reaction of the best kind – we inspire others by giving

There are several ways to give without spending a dime or making a dent in our savings.

  • Give something you can spare to charity at least once a week. This could be a toy, cash, clothing, food supplies, books – you decide
  • Designate a box at home, or at your workplace, to collect small change – coins. At the end of the month, donate it
  • Create a gratitude jar – Every Saturday, sit down with your family to give thanks, write down what you’re grateful for on a note and place it in the jar. We also have a happiness jar where we add notes on what makes us happy – matter how trivial.
  • Give the gift of time to someone.
  • Give a smile
  • Encourage someone
  • Appreciate someone you take for granted
  • Give flowers
  • Give hugs
  • Send thank you notes
  • Give prayers
  • Use your talent/skills to help someone
  • Give compliments
  • Give blood, save lives
  • Sign up for organ donation
  • Be a mentor to someone
  • Share your snack/lunch

Giving Vidya Sury

Giving back is good. But plain giving is far better.

“Always give without remembering. Always receive without forgetting,”

Here’s a beautiful poem, adapted from the best-selling children’s book,  The Giving Tree by  Shel Silverstein which makes me cry every time I read it. The book celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. It is a story about the power of giving and generosity. Each time I read it, it brings a fresh perspective, with a tinge of sadness. Some people see the boy as selfish and the tree as completely selfless. It speaks of the bond they share. No matter how you see it, it pulls at the heart-strings. I’d love to know what you feel about this poem.

The Giving Tree

by Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree….
and she loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come
and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns
and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired,
he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree….
very much.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree
and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and
climb up my trunk and swing from my
branches and eat apples and play in my
shade and be happy.”
“I am too big to climb and play” said
the boy.
“I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money?”
“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I
have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in
the city. Then you will have money and
you will be happy.”
And so the boy climbed up the
tree and gathered her apples
and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time….
and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back
and the tree shook with joy
and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk
and swing from my branches and be happy.”
“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy.
“I want a house to keep me warm,” he said.
“I want a wife and I want children,
and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house ?”
” I have no house,” said the tree.
“The forest is my house,
but you may cut off
my branches and build a
house. Then you will be happy.”

And so the boy cut off her branches
and carried them away
to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time.
And when he came back,
the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
“Come, Boy,” she whispered,
“come and play.”
“I am too old and sad to play,”
said the boy.
“I want a boat that will
take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?”
“Cut down my trunk
and make a boat,” said the tree.
“Then you can sail away…
and be happy.”
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy
… but not really.

And after a long time
the boy came back again.
“I am sorry, Boy,”
said the tree,” but I have nothing
left to give you –
My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak
for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,”
said the tree. ” You
cannot swing on them – ”
“I am too old to swing
on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone, ” said the tree.
“You cannot climb – ”
“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.
“I wish that I could give you something….
but I have nothing left.
I am just an old stump.
I am sorry….”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.
“just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening
herself up as much as she could,
“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting
Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.

Watch the animation film where the author speaks the lyrics

How are you celebrating giving?

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Inderpreet Kaur
    December 3, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I loved your post, they always brighten up my day. The poem of the tree is indeed beautiful. Being able to give is a blessing indeed.
    Inderpreet Kaur recently posted…Navratan HoopsMy Profile

  • Reply
    nabanita
    December 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Giving truly is very satisfying for the soul…Today we have taken some of our clothes to be sent to Chennai..Infosys CSR is leading the drive and I hope in some way , in some small way, this will help someone in need…
    Love the poem Vidya..
    Hugs <3
    nabanita recently posted…Solo Travels: Discovering YouMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chicky
    December 4, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Giving also opens up our energy field for receiving. And it just makes us feel so good from deep inside!
    I have read this poem earlier. I remembered it very vaguely. It was good to go through it again.
    Chicky recently posted…#ChennaiRains Trigger Memories of #PatnaFloods1975My Profile

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