Every January while budgeting for the year I remind myself of what my mother taught me: Don’t save on giving. The giving pot should stay full. The truth is one: there would be no justice in the world if we didn’t give.
We are lucky in the west… we are wealthy… although with all the temptations available it’s so easy to see ourselves as struggling, to wish for more, and to fear of not having, of being worse-off, of living in smaller houses, the fears of x, y, z. The list is long. This fear has been injected in us with a thick syringe and has been fed and fueled… so that we look up and dream of what others have and what others do.
They don’t make you feel rich, these dreams. They don’t make you feel lucky but I am telling you here: You are rolling in it.
If a few days, weeks, months of saving mean that you can afford a luxury (a new phone, branded items, a computer, travel etc.), you are rich. If you feed your family, pay your bills, and maintain your car or travel round with minimal budgeting effort, you are rich. If that’s your situation, there is no need to cut on the giving budget, there is no need to cut on sharing the wealth.
The reality is that despite the inflation, in spite of rises in regular expenses, regardless of our dreams to live bigger and better, we can still give and if this year is a bit harder than the last one we can save to give!
This is not a new concept. It has been happening in the past. It has been exercised. There are families in the world who save the best of their foods over months for their visitors. There are children in the world who are saving every coin they get so that they can give their mothers’ presents for their birthdays. There are single parents and pensioners who limit their purchases so that they can support a cause that they believe in. There are people who just watch their daily expenses so that they can donate, so that they can contribute, so that they can do their part. Some of these people have to be strict about how much electricity they use, how much milk they buy, how many showers they take, how many pairs of shoes they buy. They go to great lengths so that they can take part in this great giving scheme while for so many of us saving to give is just a purchasing delay. If giving means as much as waiting for longer, it’s not a sacrifice. It’s justice.
Let’s stay generous in 2014. It’s a good rule to live by.