Come 17 May, the world shall be celebrating the commencement of the campaign of the ‘Art Of Giving’ philosophy. Every year on May 17 the Art Of Giving campaign is commemorated in over 200 cities and town across the globe and kind-hearted people get together to spread the message of the Art Of Giving which quintessentially says and propagates ‘Give from the heart to the needy without expectation of any gratification whatsoever and contribute towards world peace and harmonious living.

True giving is self-less giving, and happiness is deeply connected and they both come from the bottom of a compassionate heart. It is a divine gift, and a cultured practice in all religious communities of the world. Needless to say that a gift, no matter how small or large, is something that is enjoyed thrice- once at the level of the receiver of the gift, secondly at the level of the giver, and thirdly at the level of the society in general.

Ever since the COVID -19 appeared and spread across the globe extra-ordinary social changes began raising their heads affecting the general life and living of people which stands disrupted in many ways than not till date and the unpleasant status is likely to continue for some more time yet. Social distancing and lockdowns have become the order of the day. The poor and rich all are affected physically, socially and mentally while the state is subjected to an experience of extreme law and order situation and economic meltdown.

But Giving never stops. KIIT and KISS started providing cooked-food to poor people living on the streets, to people living in slums and to those in accidental distress and police performing duties on the streets within the spread of the city of Bhubaneswar. That apart, another group of lives in extra-ordinary distress are the street animals, and animals dependant on tourists at various tourist centres. KIIT and KISS are feeding all such animals in and around Bhubaneswar.

On social network we are seeing people at large coming out in groups or single to extend help to people in distress and animals on the streets, the campaign of art of giving is in action for sure. A great salute to those folks. The doctors, nurses, lab technicians, janitors, canteen staff, pharmacists, etc. working night and day in various hospitals and COVID hospitals, the police on duty on the streets, the administrative officers of the government performing duties in the field, those health workers going to homes to check on COVID afflicted people, technicians working in different labs to test COVID affliction, and health workers on duty at different quarantine centres certainly deserve a soulful salute. Even that would be ‘giving’, no money needed.

The act of giving doesn’t have to be limited to this single day, the May 17. One can use his or her holidays or special occasions. One can treat every person one meets as someone who they can give something special to, not to think that a gift is always something we can buy. A very special form of giving can be personal acts of kindness. It’s not money or material things that has to be given. Gifts can be something that can’t be seen, like a good advice, a kind word, an appreciation, the sharing of some special knowledge, a compliment, a helping hand, some support during a difficult time or even a smile and a grateful disposition.

No matter how little we may have, no matter how loaded we may be with problems, we can give help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but there are many other needs and we all need to be helped, even the mightiest people may need help from the most meek. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that. You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. We must learn to be grateful when we feel we are able to give. Every single act of love, kindness, and generosity will multiply and return to the giver many times over. When you give without any desire of getting something back, your returns will be limitless. To give something from the heart is an action which will fill your life with joy.

The intention behind your giving is the most essential thing, it should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver and when the intentions are clear and right they create happiness, joy, trust and love. According to Lao Tsu kindness in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking creates profoundness, and kindness in giving creates love. Let’s spend this lockdown period to reflect on life’s true meaning. May Almighty God enlighten our hearts to what life truly is all about and the art of giving.