Christmas season is almost a month behind now. there were certain things which I couldn't but notice during that time. Christmas season being the season of love, joy, sharing, caring and giving and all that… (Personally, I think every day should be a season of all that. At least we take out time to be 'nice' and to celebrate 'niceness' once a year.) What I observed during the season of 'giving' and before that in my work really made me think about of giving…
Why do we give? What motivates our giving? When a beggar comes knocking on your car window why do you feel uneasy? Do you give or don't you? If you do, why? And if you don't, why? When you drive past a slum, you just want to drive past it quickly. When you do slow down and stop to see, the sight makes you uncomfortable… Forces you to do something about it. To do something about it quickly. A loose change, a quick handout. Your heart is at peace. Or is it?
More often than not, the giving is done more for the sake of easing our conscience. To make us feel good about ourselves.
There are some who give in order to feel good about themselves. AND there are those who give to let others know how good they are. Sometimes, giving becomes a marketing strategy. Marketing strategy for fund-raising. More money is spent on organizing the gift-giving event than on the gifts itself.
One-size-fits-all giving is another way to give. There is no thought put into giving. There is no understanding of what the receiver needs. This is sort of easy to do. Just go to some place, buy stuff in bulk (you save on the cost of giving this way!), and give. Better still, handout money. That is easier. There is no need to worry about what the money is being used for.
And then there is the expert-giver. "I know what you need. I have done my research I have observed your condition. I'm here to better your standard of living (to that of mine). So I will give you something that I would use, even if it is irrelevant in your situation."
Honestly, what motivates you to give?
Note: 'I', 'you' and 'we' are used interchangeably here. I am talking to myself as much as to the readers. This is a post just to provoke thought.
And oh, there is a part 2 to this...