I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself a giver, materialistically. I do donate money sometimes, but I’d rather call it sharing. I simply see that I want to offer some little things to those who are not as fortunate as I am. Nothing beyond that, nor would I expect to get an “official” returned appreciation.
I don’t want my name to be published when I donate anything. Understandably, people or organizations sometimes have to publish names of their donors because of their legal obligations. I also think we do need to realize more hidden philanthropic and benevolent acts in our life. Giving wealth is a way to help, and to inspire others to give more and give better in this world, which is, most if not all the time, very cruel to the poor and the most disadvantaged people.
Besides, giving probably is a deeply aspiring need of our human beings, as we’re born social beings.
From time to time, I give money to my friend who is a doctor at a public hospital to help poor patients, mostly children. I ask her to give it to her patients who are in need.
This is a hospital, from day to day, we can find little patients from typical families of a mother in her 30s who sells lottery tickets on the streets, bringing up her 6 kids from 5-6 different fathers, or a terminally cancered kid whose parents are fishermen. Very often, a mother suddenly collapses when knowing her kid has to immediately undergo an operation due to a serious illness. She is in shock because she doesn’t bring enough money with her to stay at the hospital, their hometown is far away, and she has no one else in the city to lend her money. She, maybe, does not even grasp how serious her kid’s illness is…
Sometimes, my friend sends me a message after giving money to patients, that the kid’s parents were so moved and wanted to convey their thanks. Some other times, the patients cried, some were so surprised and couldn’t speak a word. I can only assume that the tiny gift would lighten their day for both the doctor and the patient.
I tell my friend, the patients feel that way, perhaps because no one has ever offered them a gift the way she does, nor has any doctor ever treated them like that, simply because doctors are so overloaded already.
The gift is only a modest amount of money, even to those poor patients. For later, I believe and always hope that they could eventually manage to find help from other sources. But for those poor patients who feel desperate and hopeless and alone, right at that moment an act of kindness in a mustard-seed-size gift, could mean immeasurably to them.
When I first started asking my friend to do this, she wondered what sort of patients I wanted to help with this money, any criteria I had? As often said, most patients are indeed poor, the in-need patients are countless, we could only find the poorer or the more miserable among the poor.
I told my friend that I din’t have any criteria of who she should pick, nor did I need to be named. And that she knew her patients best, and knew who would need it. I truly am the one who needs to be thankful. The giver should say thanks.
The truth is, no such existence as giver or receiver, neither rescuer nor rescuree, neither healer nor patient. We are all the lowly inheritors of the boundless Giving of God.
Happy Thanksgiving Season