GIVING BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO; lessons learnt from flowing waterways…

Giving and flowing waterways – waterways in this discussion refer to rivers or streams; where’s the connection? Or does ‘giving because you have to’ and lessons learnt from flowing waterways confuse you more? Let’s try and unpack this.

I have been hearing negative vibes about the government’s taxation department and its tax schedule ever since I could understand adult speak. The department is called different names in different countries but their modus operandi is uniform regardless of ones’ home country; that of taking a percentage of individual or corporate earnings to assist the government in the running of its affairs. So like it or loathe it, each law abiding citizen has to pay taxes; or in other words one ‘gives’, more like is forced to give, because they have to. One’s take-home-pay is the amount left after taxes are deducted! Any familial or individual expenses are calculated based on this take-home-pay!

The bulk, if not all, of the people who ‘give because they have to’ are the taxpayers the whole world over. In this category there are those who do not mind giving and there are those who do mind giving; in fact they would opt not to give if given the choice.

Notice that I have blurred the lines here between ‘paying of taxes’ and ‘giving’ and some people would love to split hairs over their differences, and you are free to do so although I will not be drawn into any argument on this, suffice to say that the mindset at which the givers part with their money – ‘give’ if you like – serves the purpose of this discussion.

Now to the waterway analogy!

I liken those who do not mind giving to, a waterway that freely flows out to sea providing water and nutrients to plants and animals that live along its banks. If you have personally frequented the banks of such a waterway you will see a sparkle in its waters; you will see unmatched greenery in the plants growing beside it; you will see healthy fauna; you will see humans drinking from it without the need for its treatment. Natives of such places call these types of waterways ‘live waterways’. In fact the relationship between the waterways’ dependents and the waterway itself is symbiotic; not only are the flora and fauna healthy but the river itself maintains its health.

There are waterways that flow out to sea incessantly as well but there is no sparkle in their waters. Their flow is sluggish and although they provide water and nutrients to flora and fauna beside them, humans do not freely drink from them. The relationship here is also symbiotic but somehow there is an air of dolefulness inherent in this relationship; it is as if the waterway seems unwilling to give and therefore even if it gives health to others it does not enjoy the same state of health itself. These waterways correspond to those who reluctantly give.

Psychologists and people in the know re human behaviour can go into the nitty gritty of the connection between giving and ones’ overall demeanour but from personal experience I can tell you that I have always felt a sense of accomplishment each time I have given in some small way be it financial or otherwise; my outlook on life post-giving is always positive!

The common denominator for both types of givers is that they both help their government provide for domestic well-being via the establishment of roads, hospitals, parks, etc. And when their government extends its arms in AID to developing countries they have both assisted people in those countries, which include the Solomon Islands; and that, without evening conscientiously thinking about their giving!

Some parallel lessons that one can glean from the waterway analogy is that they both did not know, like the two givers in consideration, who or what they were benefiting by their giving but they continued to give anyway and like most givers the waterways maintained a daily fresh lease of life as they continued to give. Additionally, they did not know the flow-on effect of their giving – like the two givers – via the carbon sink they helped maintain or the oxygen source they helped sustain or even the potential medicinal drugs from the plants they helped water, but they kept on giving.

Imagine for a minute if the major waterways of the world stopped ‘giving’! What would become of our carbon sink and our oxygen source not to mention other things like food, medicines and the likes?

I’d like to submit here that the message these waterways want to portray is encompassed in the words of a song my mother taught me when I was a child. One of the lines went something like this: ‘Give said the little stream, give oh give, give oh give; Give said the little stream as it hurried down the hill; I’m small I know but wherever I go, give oh give, give oh give…….’.

Why don’t you take to heart the message of the stream and give to a worthy course by clicking on the link below and donating in some small way?

This appeal is scheduled to close in about 18 days’ time! Please donate before it closes!


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