Thursday, February 10, 2011

Give while you are still living

Yesterday I watched a small clip about a king and his fortunes on the net. The list of king’s possessions could make anyone feel jealous of him. The list talked of the largest fleet of cars, one of the biggest armada of sea vessels and air craft equipped with all modern gadgets and comforts besides a swimming pool. The clip showed his palace where everything was made of gold and diamonds. He had a palace with unaccounted number of suites, ballrooms, banquet halls, sports facilities and large tracts of green prairies where he rode on the finest horses in the world. And don’t ask me to tell you how much wealth he has.

This reminded me of a anecdote a friend once e-mailed me. And I am sharing the same as I find some relevancy between the anecdote and the wealth of the king. The story goes like this that a very rich man once asked friend, "Why it is everyone is always criticizing me for being miserly. Everyone knows that I have made provision to leave everything I have to charity when I die?" "Well," said the minister, "let me tell you about a story about the pig and the cow. The pig was complaining to the cow one day about how unpopular he was. "People are always talking about your gentleness and your kindness," said the pig. "You give milk and cream. But I give even more. I give bacon and ham. I give bristles and they even pickle my feet! Still no one likes me; I'm just a pig. Why is this?" The cow thought for a minute, and then said, "Well, maybe it's because I give while I'm still living.

This fictional conversation leaves us much to ponder. Even if one’s grave has walls of gold with diamonds studded into it and one is laid on a cushioned mattress, it would be of no use as the dead body would not be able to feel any comfort. It is only while one lives that one can make others happy by parting with a part of one’s empire and wealth so that the needy too could live happily. Otherwise a dead poor or rich body would just be the same in the grave, being eaten away by worms irrespective of its previous status when it was alive.

Rich people around the world have coffers and vaults over flooded with wealth, diamonds and precious artifacts, which suddenly one day would find another master after the death of the previous. And sadly the new master would continue to add rather than sharing with those who need it.

So let us not be remembered like an animal most hated – let us be giving like a cow while we are still living.

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