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Why Am I Attracted to Charity?

Karan Shah (Junior)

We all like to be on the receiving end. Be it gifts, service or something as simple as kind words. We crave to be praised; we are in constant quest of the feeling of accomplishment – of conquering another goal – whether it’s a good grade, monetary gain, or just a positive remark. But, we often forget how fortunate we are and to appreciate everything we have that makes us capable of achieving these goals: a loving and supportive family, good health, good education, a secure environment and countless other factors. 

I am blessed to be born in a very loving and wonderful family, with all the comforts that I need. My childhood has been smooth sailing and I did not face any major hardships. But, when I saw people around me who did not get the same privilege, I realized how truly lucky I was. I have seen hungry children begging on the streets in the hopes of gathering just enough money to keep them from starving another day. There are farmers committing suicide because they are in huge debts and cannot feed their families. I always wondered what their families go through. There are people who grow up witnessing atrocities and violence from the very day they are born. And there are yet others who suffer from a fatal disease or have loved ones who are suffering from it. Just a thought about these circumstances makes me numb. I have always felt that I must help; I must give back to society. People are facing hardships beyond the horizons of my imaginations, and if I have the resources to even slightly lessen their hardships, I feel obligated to do so. 

Once I started giving back in my little ways, I realized that giving without any strings attached makes me happy. In fact, for me, the happiness and joy that comes out of giving is way more enriching than the happiness that I get when I am on the receiving end. Once I changed the lens with which I looked at the world, my sympathy changed to empathy. I started putting myself in other people’s shoes. I understood how hard life is for many and how much we take things for granted. So now, I try my best to bring a smile to others’ lives by doing small acts of kindness.  

I would like to leave you with this lovely quote by Gautama Buddha – “Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.” 

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