To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by the fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the Source of all wealth and all good – that is the secret of right living.
(Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian: 32).
These days Baha’is all over the world are celebrating Ayyam-I-Ha or intercalary days. Ayyam-i-Ha refers to a period of intercalary days in the Baha’i calendar which lasts for 4-5 days from February 25-February 28 or 29. Baha’is spend these days with charitable works, gift giving, festivities and service projects. So these few days are usually dedicated to giving and helping the poor and needy.
As I was prepping for my daughter’s preschool Ayyam-i-Ha party, even though it was getting late, but I had a good feeling, a feeling of joy, a feeling that I never have while getting other stuff done. So I started looking for the reason behind this joy. In fact, this is the feeling that I get during this time of the year every year. Is it because I am doing this without asking for anything in return? And because no one has asked me or expect me to do this? That must be it. So I started Searching on why giving can make you feel happy and satisfied. And science answered this question beautifully:
“Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others,” said Dacher Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate.”
It is interesting to know that in order for us to survive, we need to take care of others. Can you imagine anything this powerful. So why is it that in the world today, we only see very few people, who actually and sincerely are helping humanity? Are people really aware of the power of giving, or they have forgotten all about it? Why is it that we all want to just take and collect things, and giving seems so hard? Does everyone realize that everything that we own in our earthly life, is temporary?
As I was asking myself these questions, I came to the quotation, situated on top of this article, by Shighi Efendi. That answered all my questions, if I did not believe in a higher power and that there is actually a reason that I have been put on this earth, then I too would not enjoy giving. I probably would just give up and go to bed. It probably would seem very silly to spend my precious time to do something for someone that does not even know me. The reason that I got the joy, that I got today, which is priceless, you should try it sometimes, is because I know I am doing an act of service. It might not be as big of saving someone’s life or feeding the kids in poor countries, but it is better than nothing. It is something that I can do from the bottom of my heart and that is all that matters.
Don’t be afraid, you don’t have to be rich and famous to be able to give and help someone, you just need to want from the bottom of your heart to give. And oh boy oh boy, the joy that you will receive from this giving is far greater than anything else in this earthly world.
We have to give without the fear of poverty. In order to be able to feel the power of giving we have to do it from the bottom of our heart and with complete trust. We as humans need to take care of each other to be able to survive.
Stay Happy and Healthy