Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The moment I mention the word, generosity, something strikes up in the mind, no? Rings a bell? Well, we keep coming across notions of generosity in our day to day lives. We are taught to be generous in our deeds and words. But easier said than done. Many people find it really hard to be generous considering we all are struggling in some way or other. The focus is always on ‘self’ factor. The competition is cut-throat and one is not expected to make any mistake in personal as well as professional life. One simple mistake and you no longer find yourself in the place. People have started to become less and less tolerant. Generosity is a virtue that has always been admired but not many strive to be generous. This word does not just signify giving away large sums of rupees or doing great social work. It could also be just a nice word, a warm greeting and an endearing smile. That’s all it takes and that also makes it easier to start with. Perhaps one warm touch is all that the other person requires. I would be sharing a story of The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi who exemplifies how you can appreciate little gestures of life and cherish them forever.

“Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. "I must see him," she insisted and going up to Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully.

The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin but Gandhiji refused. "I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh," Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly "yet you won't trust me with a copper coin." "This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands," Gandhiji said. "If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn't mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.”