TALES CORNER by Modester Chinonyelum
The Act of Giving
We see them, along the streets, at the gate of the worship places. They pass the front of our houses. We pass them along the road, highways sometimes. We see them at the market.
Sometimes we drop small denomination notes. Often times, we sigh and pass. Most times, we cross to the other side of the road for reasons best known to us – some, because they feel bad because they have nothing to give, others, because they want to avoid the being touched or pleaded with for help.
There are more reasons too. Each individual has his.
Almost every child dreams of growing up and becoming so rich, so famous. For some, they want to change the world, get very rich and help the poor. I had such dreams too.
I would walk past the beggars on my way to and from church wishing in my mind that I had millions to make their life better. I would imagine myself opening a home for the homeless, empowering the able-bodied amongst them to learn one trade or skills to sustain themselves.
I’m sure at some points in our lives we had such dreams. But… The truth is that adulthood comes with so many responsibilities that sometimes we push the act of giving and helping others to the back of our minds.
Children have absolutely nothing to worry about aside the latest clothes, shoes, and other things they want their parents to purchase for them. As adults, we hustle, we work hard to be rich thinking ‘Na who dey alive dey help person’. We do not return to help, not at all but we intend to help when we get rich.
However, one thing people say (which I think it’s true) is that the richer you are, the bigger your problems. No matter how rich you are, you will always have needs that equate your riches.
Why then do you have to wait till you are ‘stinking rich’ before lifting a helping hand to others? The truth remains that if you cannot help when you have little, believe me, you won’t even if you have all the money in the whole world tomorrow.
Again, if you do not start helping people while you are young and hustling, you can’t even when you retire and have enough money.
Giving is an act which requires constant practice. It is hard, quite difficult to see people who do not give before to wake up as adults and start working on ways to better the lives of others. Remember, the word there, is ‘difficult’ not ‘impossible’. The percentage of such persons is one out of a thousand.
To be able to give when you the world is enough for you (I do not think the world will ever be enough for anyone though), you have to start practicing now.
I’m not saying you should go bankrupt while trying to help others. Not at all. You can give someone 200 naira out of the thousand naira that you have. Let me give you a clear example. Hold on, I’m not trying to portray myself as a nice person.
*laughs* The truth is I’m really a terrible person. Moving on to my example, I woke up one morning to messages from a friend who needed money. You know how students’ live is. The girl did not have a dime. She needed money for transport to school.
On my part, I had just 500 hundred naira to survive on till the next week when I will get an allowance from home. I just couldn’t stand her trekking the long distance to school so I shared my 500 hundred with her.
Yeah, that weekend was not funny but I survived. Being momentary broke has never killed anyone right? So learn to give even if it means denying yourself something.
Do not give to only the people who can pay you back. That is lending and not giving. Rather give to one who you know cannot at that moment pay you back. You don’t have to go to churches to look for beggars to give.
On social media, you see posts of individuals who have severe cases of a particular illness. They genuinely need money to fund their medical expenses.
You read, type ‘May God help you’re and pass while you have five, ten, twenty, even fifty thousand naira in your account. Perhaps you saw the amount needed and assume that your one thousand, two thousand or five hundred naira will not amount to anything.
After reading, you make a mental note to help others when you get rich. Like I said earlier, you cannot if you do not start now. Moreover, close to where you live there might be people who need help.
Giving is not just monetary help. You can also give kinds to people; clothes, shoes, foodstuffs, even cooked food. You have clothes in your wardrobe which has not adorned your body for months, years yet you refuse to give it out.
Year in, year out, you travel to the village and meet your relatives who are in dire need of clothes but… You turn the other eye. You pass the hungry on your way daily. Some even stay in the compound where you are yet you pour food away like you are pouring dirty water.
You have shoes that you have outgrown. Right now, they are under your bed, spoiling their rotting away. Yet, you watch that girl walk to school every day on worn out sandals. You know that the shoes under your bed will size her but…it was one of your favorite shoes so you don’t want to part with it.
Man is insatiable. No matter how wealthy you are, you will still yearn to earn and make more money. Why wait when you can start now? Learn to give, for in giving you receive.
Remember, none of us is leaving here alive!