We all have money on our minds as we stand in queues at the closed doors of banks. The newspapers and television channels are full of stories about the huge amounts of hoarded cash being found that run into lakhs of crores. Most of us cannot even imagine how much space a lakh crore of notes will take in a cupboard. Come to think of it, how many zeros are there in one lakh crores?

The tragedy is that people who have so much never think of sharing it with the less fortunate. Charity, generosity, kindness, compassion are words they have forgotten. And the joke is that within no time people would have forgotten the 500 crore wedding or the man driving a jaguar.

Think about it – who are the people who have stayed in our collective memory? There is Mahatma Gandhi whose worldly possessions could be packed into a single khadi bag. Then there is Kabir who lived in a hut and wove cloth till his last day. Gautama Buddha, born a prince, begged for his food, walked everywhere and went to a pond to wash his clothes. And centuries later, we carry them around in our hearts like beacons of hope.

The Buddha as always said it perfectly about what makes a worthwhile life:

“In the end, only three things matter:

How much you loved,

How gently you lived,

And how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”


 Today ordinary people without credit cards and e-wallets are so short of money that they think twice about buying a few oranges or fresh vegetables from a pavement vendor. Suddenly fruits and vegetables have become the luxuries of life.

This is the time to open our hearts, live gently and reach out to people. We have to create our own schemes to help people who are on the edge of disaster.

  • Look around you for people in need and you can buy the groceries, clothes and medicines for them.
  • Instead of shopping at super markets, start an account with your local vegetable and fruit seller with that impossible to use two thousand rupee note.
  • Help your maid, cook, driver open a bank account and teach them to operate a debit card.
  • The worst deprivation is in villages, especially those without banks. Donate clothes and other household items to organisations like Goonj. Winter is coming and they are looking for woollens.

As the Tamil philosopher Tiruvalluvar said, this is the time to give, “with respect to meet another’s need”. And in return you will get the precious gift of happiness, serenity and peace of mind.

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