Last year, I had invited my readers to share their stories of some positive quality they have cultivated that has made a difference in their lives. I had put up many of those stories, but one reached me on the last day and stayed unused. Today, suddenly, I remembered about it, and am presenting it here, because it's very relevant for us to know how we can do our bit to help our less fortunate fellow-beings.
This has been written by Shri. Suresh Venkatarao, who is married to Vidya, my husband's cousin living in Chennai.
We know the saying, “What we Sow is what we Reap”. This is very important from the perspective of young ones today. Gone are the days when we as kids obeyed our parents in silence. The modern-day kids want to know why a particular thing needs to be followed and practiced. Believe me, if we can make them understand, they are such wonderful kids, who would practice what we teach. This is where we as parents need to sow the right seed in our child’s mind.
I am narrating from my personal experience. I am going to talk about one good practice which I have inculcated in my son’s life.
Helping the needy
To help the needy, what you need is the intention rather than how much money you have. I want my son to be compassionate towards others, understand the difficulty faced by many and how blessed he is.
A couple of years ago, he would buy chappals, but use only some and not the others. Sometimes he used to say that I don’t want this food after giving it to him. To change this and make him understand how others are not getting food, we showed the Somalia poverty to him. He was shocked to see people who looked like skeletons, kids of his age so weak and wearing water bottles as chappals etc. This really impacted him, and I still remember the day vividly as he started crying seeing the plight of people. His habits changed, and he wanted to know how this could be changed.
We told him that we could do our little bit by donating whatever possible to the needy people. He wanted to understand how so I explained to him about the Trust concept, UN Organizations etc. I took him to couple of charities which I support on my mother’s death anniversary every year. In their school, they started Karuna Club two years ago where they collect money, food items, reading materials and clothes two times every year. He would actively ask my support for that Karuna Club.
We wanted him to go one step further.
Every year we celebrate his birthday by inviting his friends and neighbours followed by cake cutting etc. He enjoys this very much and he gets very much excited and takes part in decoration arrangements etc. Last year we told him that we will do away with this and instead we would use the money and give sweets and cakes to an orphanage. We explained to him that all his friends and neighbours coming for birthday party can afford cakes/sweets / return gifts etc. whereas the boys and girls in homes will get them only when someone like us gives them. He did agree to our idea and was ready to give away the usual celebrations. I am very proud of my son, as, after all, he was just ten years old when we asked him to forego this practice.
His aunt presented him with a money safe (Piggy bank) with a condition that whatever amount he saved in it, 25% of it, he should use it for charity and the rest can be used for himself.
The first opening is done, and the amount counted and contribution to charity is done. Hope with God’s Grace he keeps up this habit forever and helps the needy.