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Submitted: October 31, 2017

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Submitted: October 31, 2017



"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." - Mother Teresa

From that quote made by Mother Teresa, I found two words very interesting: give and love. By definition, giving can be considered as the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return, or the provision of help to those in need who are not related to the giver, which is the most common definition, especially in the African context. In most cases, when you hear people talking of giving or when you hear people say that they want to give something, they mean that they want to go to an orphanage, old people’s home or look for anyone in need of help and they donate whatever they want to donate and leave.

According to the Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary (1998) + Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (2000), love was referred to as an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment. Merriam-Webster (2000) went even further to say love can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—"the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans or one's self. This means that if you say you love something, somehow you are deeply connected to that thing.

I would like to believe that when Mother Teresa mentioned that quote she was talking of charity. In many cases you see or hear people saying that they give to orphans or those people in need. If you take time and ask them how they give they might just tell you that they go to the orphanage and leave a cheque of thousands of dollars and they leave. Yes, they do have the money and the resources but is this the best they can do or it’s what most people thing is giving?

Personally I believe that charity is not all about giving large sums of money, or donating lots of goods and you leave. I believe it’s about being present when you give. I believe it’s all about seeing the joy that the people have when you give. It’s all about seeing all those smiles on people’s faces, and the tears of joy on their cheeks when you give. I think a person who sends “gifts” to help a person in need from an office is different from a person who goes to that person in need and passes the “gifts” him/herself. As a giver I believe you should be present to feel that affection coming from the one you are helping. At times it not always about giving things all the time, just your presence at that very moment can change a person’s life, especially when we talk of children who are kept in homes. You find that most of the time they do not get to see the majority of people who sponsor them. In most cases you see that they have unrequited love.

 As a giver, you have to show love to the people you are giving, at the same time you have to be present so that you get to experience the love that the people you have helped are willing to show to you. That way you are even motivated to participate in charity work.

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