Giving from the Heart

Giving from the Heart

This past 3 day weekend I have been hard at work in my back yard doing some major gardening in a race before the fall/winter frost. I love this hard physical labor which is like therapy for my wrists/arms/body which is normally sitting in front of a computer every day. I spent all day digging irrigation trenches; That was tough! Nothing like a good sweat. My muscles are so sore today. Any way getting off track

Today on my lunch break I drove to the local hardware store to pickup some things I needed for the project. As I was loading the stuff into the trunk of my car a woman walks up to me in the parking lot. She tells me this whole story….and I’m not sure what to make of it all (all while I continue loading my stuff in the car). She said her husband was a into drugs, alcohol and abusive and her and her daughter had to get away from him. She basically wanted me to give her some money for gas/food. She got a bit sad looking and tried her best to convince me that she was for real; inviting me to see her daughter in the car. I didn’t quite believe her…but I gave her $5 and drove off watching my thoughts. Was she for real? Was she just a scammer or drug addict herself trying any which way to get money from people? I started thinking about it while driving back to the SikhNet office.

This all reminds me of my days in school in India where I used to come across a lot of beggars. Or on the street here in the USA where people hold a sign asking for help (money). One of the lines of thinking is "don’t give money to people like this since it encourages them to do it more & they take advantage of people.".

I used to be pretty cautious of who I give money to and try to tell if they are really in need. Sometimes when driving and I saw a sign that someone was holding asking for money for food I would give them some food. Sometimes these people were ungrateful since they were maybe just using it to get money. Sometimes they were happy to get something. I find that too often when someone is in need and asking for help it triggers a mental process of trying to "judge" them if they deserve my charity or are really wanting the money for the purpose they are asking me. It is often hard to determine who is for real and if what they are saying is the truth…and even if they are not telling the truth they might be having a hard time in their life. So now when someone comes to me I give them something and mentally ask for Guru to bless this person. It’s their karma to lie…and my blessing to give.

What is a few dollars to me or you anyways? The way I figure it, God takes care of me and provides all that I need. I have plenty that I can share with others (especially a few dollars here and there to random people). I have no way of knowing if the person uses the money for drugs or alcohol, but that is not for me to judge. I figure give with a smile and bless them. If someone came to the Gurus for help I would think that they would have given them help too. So rather than getting caught up in the mental process of "judging" if the person is truthful I just give something. I would not want to turn away someone who was really in need. So even if 4 our of 5 people are lying and just one was really in need and truthful then great! 

Everyone has a hard time in their life…and many are stuck in poverty and hard situations. It’s easy for any of us to just say…why can’t you just get a job, though for many it is not so simple as that. Homelessness and poverty can be complex situations. I’m not saying you should do the same thing as me, but I find that I personally would rather give from the heart and pray for the person,  than turn away someone in need.

How do you deal with these types of situations? Curious to hear others thoughts on this topic….

18 Responses to “Giving from the Heart”

  1. sukhmeet singh says:

    Yes many times that judgement thing comes in to play ..if u he/she is able bodied then u think or say that why can't he work and earn ….but it is hard to see sometimes kids begging yesterday while going back from office to home (in India) i saw a shirtless kid (may be 7 or 8 years) begging on the road while it was raining ..u tend to help but then the question is how many u can help …also few days back i was walking on raid .. an Autorikshaw driver came and asked for help and gave a long explanation ..that his daughter is in hospital and he does not have cash ..he said lend me Rs100 and he took my no. and said he will give back .. i gave him the money but he never came back …so now even if some body asks i'm very cautious of giving until or unless is not able bodied

    • Hey Gurumustuk, here in NYC a normal subway ride consists of at least one person coming through the train asking for money. Some give speeches, some perform musical ensembles, there are even kids performing amazing "break dance" and acrobatics right there in the aisle of the train. I try to carry dollars and quarters for these folks when I have extra.
      Even at the entrance of the train a woman sits at her regular spot on the stairway with her cup
      asing for help. You really nailed the atttitude…..Just like Bhai Kanaiya, see the presence of our beloved Guru in the presence of each person and give give give and bless them and I thank God that person is not me.

  2. Manprem says:

    The fact that a person is lying for food or money doesn't matter. The simple fact that he was put in such a place (to lie or ask) to begin with justify our love, money and blessings to them. Very nice article Gurumustuk.

    Not only that, it actually saves our from mind constantly calculating and thus avoid feeding the ego-mind. So you are down the street, the man asks you for some money, you give – it's over. Nothing special. It's somewhat like a meditation.

  3. guri29 says:

    I encounter something like this everyday. We have a free Turban program and almost everyday we get a request for a Turban. I try not to judge but part of me does do a quick check. If the
    person is lying, then I do reply and tell them why we are not able to send them a Turban.

    If I see someone asking for money, I will give them some money, only if they are disabled or elderly. If they are able bodied then I will most likely offer to buy them food or grocery but will not give them money.

    I am here to help and giving a little bit of money everyday will not hurt me. As you said, I have everything that I need to live a good life and it is a privilege for us to help others.

    I only wish we could help more people, there are soo many people who need a little help.

  4. Tejpreet Kaur says:

    I use to encounter thosee same questions whenever I was asked to give from people. Then I remember one of Yogi Bhajan's sayings. "If it happens to you it happens through you". Living in a large inner city and working down town I see homeless people all the time. Some days I walk right through them and not one person will ask for anything or hold up a sign. Then on other days I run head on into someone. I figure the infinite placed this person in my path at that particular time for a reason and try not to question it any further and just give from the heart. There have been times when I either did not have any money on me or change to give; when it's been that way I offer up a pray instead or reverse my steps and come back after getting change :-)

  5. Fateh Singh says:

    I'm gonna call a bit of BS on parts of this article and the first reply… First off, the title of the article could very well be: "Giving from the Head". I see your point here… but not much in the fist part of this indicates to me that you have given from the heart in this instance… Additionally this whole "able-bodied" outlook and judgement call rationalization is BS – anytime you are forming decisions based on thoughts, dualities, judgements and doubts you are diving yourself from the other. It is so clear the reason she came up to you in the first place – it was 100% about your Bana, your radiance, and your projection. She came to you for help because you specifically dress the way you dress, and do the sadhana the way you do, to let people know you are there to help them no matter what. I can't recall how many times Yogi Bhajan made this clear in his lessons. Your actually want to hope you Bana indicates that you would give at the drop of a hat, with no misgivings, because you know the money is not yours. Was she taking advantage of you? You'd better hope so! *Because God only put you here to give others an advantage!!* How many times have you given to the guru without any second guessing? The same goes for dasvandh, perhaps? Then where is the difference between those and giving to a person in need? Like you said, giving is a great opportunity to bless her for approaching you and recognizing your gift – and then you must give give, give, as quickly as you can, with no thought – just give – instantly! Whenever you have the first thought to give, give quickly! Instead of making excuses not to give, you need to be finding excuses to give more. I see a layer of judgments and many head games coming into this posting, and I know others struggles with this… so I would suggest to those, that to get over oneself, give something really *uncomfortably* large the next time someone asks you for money. Just empty your wallet. Unburden yourself. Then you will know what grows your spirit. And this is "pro"-spirit for you… It is "pro-sperity" to give and give large whenever and every time you have the opportunity. God bless you for sharing your thoughts on this and allowing me and others to reply from our own viewpoints. God bless all.

  6. Karam Prem Kaur says:

    I have difficulty giving money to people, since I think they may be asking for money to buy drugs, alcoholic drinks, etc. However, instead of doing nothing for this person, I prefer to pray for her/him.

  7. Pearljeet Kaur says:

    Wow this is really an eye opening post.. Thank you!!!

  8. Kirpal Singh says:

    Any such opportunity to help others is a blessing in disguise and I tend to avail with thanks to the person and Waheguru for putting me in a position to share out of HIS bounties.

    Kirpal Singh – New Zealand

  9. RajVinder Singh says:

    Mera Veer we give nothing. it comes from the Guru's bounty and it goes to him. the form in front is no more than a reflection of oneself as Bhai Khanayia Ji said to Guru Gobind Singh Ji," Mera Malik i see none other than you on the battlefield. I have never given water to the enemy it has always been you." The difficulty is that I find it so difficult to see Me in others. i only see the @Other', an alien, an intruder in my world!!

    Judgements are part of normal everyday activities it learning how to suspend them and give ourselves the permission to be the 'Other' so that we may learn about ourselves in the 'Other'.

  10. Harjit Singh says:

    Recently a young boycame over to me to ask for 2 dollars. I asked him what it was for. He said it was for a train ticket. I said that I will go to the station with him and buy a ticket for him to wherever he wanted to go. He said no he wanted the money. Obviously he didnt want that money for the train.
    A few days ago I saw a man asking for some money. I talked to him. He said he needed some money for some food as his welfare payment had stopped. I said I won't give you money, but I will go with you to the food court and you can buy whatever you want. He said that would be wonderful sir. I ended up buying him a huge meal. I think you have be careful about giving money, as giving money to someone who will just go and repeat harmful actions won't end up helping that individual. Akal Sahai, Harjit Singh

  11. Archana says:

    I think that if God has given us so much that sparing a little does not matter at all, so instead of thinking too much we should simply part with it. If we are in a position to is only because we are the chosen one by Babaji to give…..because to have ample enough to spare and feel for others is what makes us flourishing, understanding and compassionate. After doing our bit…it is best to forget.

  12. Archana says:

    I remember an incident wherein a stranger was thrown after a truck accident and I was passing by and saw him getting up and his forehead was almost split and blood oozing out of the wound. Instantly I stopped my car and asked him to sit with me and I shall drop him to the hospital close by. He was in a bike. Worried about his bike too …. he asked me what to do to the bike. I told him let the bike be there but then he had that presence to lock it and then he sat with me with the reeking wound.

  13. Archana says:

    He was in pain.. Being a lady..and an accident case …I was really worried to take him in my car. I just asked his name and if he belonged to that place. He replied and then I did not want to bother him much….because the need of the hour was to reach the closest hospital. I landed at the hospital and got him attended. The doctors wanted to confirm if he had been hit by my car. He said no…I told the story to my husband..I got a scolding from him that why the hell you had to stop and get into such things….if not you anyone else would have helped him….what if he would have died in the car itself….now it would be a police case and blah..blah..blah…I cried talking to God conversing. what wrong I have done by helping him….anyways…then I though to myself….I have done my bit….let whatever happen now ….I certainly couldn't have ignored him.. I was the chosen one…

  14. Archana says:

    I was having a car. Probably I could feel the pain, so could help him instantly and moreover…I was the destined one to be there and help him out. The bottom line is whatever happens is for a reason. Do your bit and dont get disturbed by unnecessary queries. I feel proud that I have saved a life. It is correctly said DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE DONE BY.

  15. Brijdeep says:

    My concerns are around children who are part of a begging gang and that happens a lot in India. I don't mind giving people something as long as I feel that they are not being forced into it because of exploitation.

  16. Giti Khalsa says:

    Earlier this year I was confronted with a similar situation (and many times since). I had just dropped our two year-old daughter off at daycare, and a woman pulled up in her car, tears in her eyes, proclaiming she had no money, and was in dire need of help because she was being evicted from her home. She asked if I could spare a few dollars to give her for some groceries. I rarely keep cash in my pockets, so my gut reaction was to tell her I'm sorry, I have no money. I asked her to give me a second and I would check my glove compartment, where I might have some spare change. I saw my wallet, and then was forced to make a tough decision – I remembered the hundred dollar bill tucked away for emergency purposes my father had given me a year or so ago (there's some humor in the fact that I'm 41, and my father still gives me emergency money – he, like our heavenly father is always providing). Hesitating for a few seconds, I removed the bill, and walked back to the lady's car. "This is all I have. I hope you're telling me the truth. God bless you." Needless to say, she flipped out. Tears flowed from her eyes, and she drove away. I have no idea if she was conning me, using the money for drugs, whatever. I got back in my car, and immediately called my father. "Dad, I did a good deed this morning, but it was only because of you." Isn't that how it's supposed to be? My father, and our heavenly father, affords the opportunity to do good deeds. Our religion emphasizes acts of service… it's not my place to judge, I'll leave that to the heavenly father. If we have the opportunity to give, we should simply do it, and when possible, even give with abundance. This is joy.

    Waheguru Ji ke Khalsa…

    Gurpreet Khalsa

    • Jag Khalsa says:

      Giti, I am delighted and proud of you for helping out this woman who might have been in a real need. God Almighty wants us to help out needy people and HE frequently tests our good hearts. We must share whatever we can with others in times of need, and as our Guru's teachings teach us, do (kar) 'sewa' every day. WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru ji Ke Fateh