India is celebrating the Joy of Giving Week from September 27 to October 3. Whenever we hear the phrases ‘giving’ or ‘contribution’, the first thought that arises in our minds is – What can an ordinary person contribute to anything? How is my involvement going to make a difference anyways? But this is not true. Here are some ideas help you play your part.

To start with, remember this- money is not the only form of contribution, it is one of the possible options. There are various other ways that you can consider. The simplest form is – SMILEJ. That is all it takes. People have forgotten to smile. Wherever you go, they hang around as if mourning someone’s death. Even if you smile at them, they are hesitant to smile back, as if scared what you may ask of them in case they return your smile. This is one of the prominent reasons of increasing stress levels- people have just forgotten how to be happy!! So go ahead, smile freely, and make someone’s day. Don’t worry if they don’t smile back.. Just keep on smiling at everyone till it becomes a contagious epidemic and everyone starts smiling again!

The next you can do is increase the kindness quotient. The most practical way to do this is – use ‘Thank you’ as often as possible (but not to the limit of irritation). Whenever you take an auto, thank the driver. Whenever you go to the grocery store, thank the salesperson. Go to a hotel, thank the waiter. Or, go home and thank your mother, father and so on for just being in your life. Or better still, thank God for giving you a life in the first place. So go ahead, express your gratitude and make people feel better. Simple enough!

You can also contribute your most valuable asset- your time. These days, we have every materialistic amenity possible, but what we lack is time for our near and dear ones. So go to a military hospital and serve the wounded soldiers there and tell them that you appreciate their courage and dedication. Go to an old-age home, and spend time with the inmates. Trust me, you will make their day. Or just take out some time form your crazy work schedule, and spend some quality time with your spouse, or children, or parents.
There is no bigger reward in the world than to see the people you love being happy.

            There is one more kind of contribution that you can make, and it is of utmost importance. It is the power of spiritual energy. I know it sounds all high-fundoo, but it is actually very simple. All you have to do is think good, positive thoughts about everyone and everything. Whenever you feel like cribbing or criticizing, stop yourself, and instead think f some happy thought, any good thought. Though we do not realize it, this really goes a long way to heal someone, or to balance things out. And the reason we don’t do it is that it is so simple, that we are just not aware of its power. So from now on, think as many good thoughts you can.

            The choice of the means of contribution are personal- each person to his own. I have done my bit by practicing these ideas and sharing it with you all by writing this article. All the best with yours. Wish you the Joy of Giving!!!
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