The word Charity is Uncharitable!

The week beginning October 2nd is being celebrated as Daan Utsav or the joy of giving week. I’m firmly against the expression giving or charity. We have a duty towards every being – conscious or unconscious. This includes plants, rivers, oceans, mountains etc. A father has a duty to his children and that becomes the right of the children. A husband has a duty towards his wife and that in turn becomes her right and vice versa. As a member of the society, everyone has a duty towards other fellow members who are in misery and that becomes the right of the latter. Simply put, one man’s duty is the other man’s right.

The entire universe is interdependent. We’re all constantly giving and taking help from each other. Viewed in this perspective, the word giving or charity is uncharitable. A more appropriate expression would be giving back since life is a continuous process of giving and taking.

Consider nature and the interdependence of flowers and insects. Bees / insects / moths help pollinate the flowers by carrying pollen from one flower to another of the same species (pollination helps to propagate its species). In return, certain species of flowers treat the insects with nectar or honey.
This can be interpreted as insects domesticating the flowers to produce honey for them or flowers exploiting insects for propagation. One can not separate the cause from the effect. It’s a win-win situation for insects as well as flowers. No one can say who is the giver and who is the recipient. Flowers can not walk and bees can not manufacture honey. Therefore the two need each other’s services for survival and propagation of their species. And how does one explain this intelligent behaviour? It is a brilliant strategy developed over millions of years of ‘Evolutionary intelligence’. This intelligence is obviously superior to ‘acquired intelligence’ of human beings. The latter depends upon logic, competition and ego. On the other hand, evolutionary intelligence has just one objective – that is to find various genetic modifications (by trial and error)and select the one most suited for survival and propagation of its species. It does not care who else is benefiting in the process.

It’s a fact that all giving is giving back. People who are successful in life receive a lot in abundance from the society and at some point they have to start giving back. Giving may be charity but giving back is a duty! Interestingly, in every giving there is receiving. When you give something of value to someone, the person receiving is in turn giving you an opportunity to grow as a human being!

Therefore, let us celebrate the upcoming joy of giving week as the joy of giving back week!

Published in: on September 26, 2015 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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