“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Theresa

December was a busy month for all of us. Work, travel, family occupied most of our time. As I was cruising through my endless to do list, my ‘just-turned 12’ year old daughter tapped on my shoulder to declare that she has finally decided what she wanted for Christmas. I was thrilled and eager to find out. What followed was a big surprise and a masterclass in the true spirit of giving.

Below is a letter she wrote,

Dear ____________,

Please consider using my hair to make a wig for someone who needs it.

At the tender age of 12, I have it all. A loving and supportive family, a wonderful education and promising health.

Growing up, I have been inspired by many brave cancer survivors in my life. One of these people is my mom. Her courage and resilience are some of the many things I admire about her. She taught me to always do what I believe in. which brings me to today.

I realized that I wanted to do something meaningful for my 12th birthday. Something that would make a complete stranger explode with joy. I decided that the hair I had been growing out for years, I would cut and give it to someone who needs it. This experience has made me feel so incredibly grateful for the life I lead today. It also showed me that doing things for people you don’t even know can have such an effect on you.

Yours sincerely,

Riya

Here is what I learned that day –

  1. Giving has no season – Giving is in the moment, Giving is everyday! Little acts of kindness is a form of giving!
  2. Giving has no age limit – As clearly demonstrated by my daughter!
  3. Giving can take many forms – You don’t need a check book to be in the giving spirit. Give your time, give your love, there are so many ways of giving!
  4. Giving recipients can be anyone – from people you know to complete strangers. Giving is not limited to people in need. Sometimes someone who appears to have everything might be in need of a hug, or someone to talk to, or someone who can listen. That counts as giving too!
  5. Giving is the key to a better future – How many times in a day do we think about giving to others? About doing something that makes someone smile? Life can be hectic but when you take the time to do something for someone else, it changes everything!

In the words of my 12 year old,

“This experience has made me feel so incredibly grateful for the life I lead today. It also showed me that doing things for people you don’t even know can have such an effect on you.”

I leave you with this great quote –

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” 

― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet