No One Has Ever Become Poor By Giving

Who is the richest person in the world? Reports state that it is Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $143 billion. I beg to differ.

Bill Gates, the second richest person, along with Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, founded “The Giving Pledge” to encourage other billionaires to donate at least 50% of their wealth to charity. Had Gates held onto the assets he's given to charity, he'd be worth an estimated $150 billion today and the richest person for the 19th consecutive year!

Khalil Gibran, the third best selling poet (after Shakespeare and Laozi), has a different view on ‘Giving’. The first line from his ‘Poem on Giving’ reads:

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

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

No, he does not expect you to cut a limb and give it. When we give with the ‘emotion’ of compassion and love, it is then that we truly give. The nature to accumulate is harmful. If we don’t have the courage to give what we possess, then we don’t possess it; instead ‘it’ possesses us. Therefore, it is better to give now and help those in need.

A line from the third para reads:

“You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."

The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.”

Who are we to decide whether someone is deserving of our compassion or not? The sun does not discriminate among those who should receive its sunlight. Similarly, the trees do not discriminate among those who should receive their fruit. Then why should we? Are we not agents of nature just like the sun and the trees? To withhold is to perish.

Another line reads:

“For in truth, it is a life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.”

The world does not need us. It existed before us. And it will exist after us. All that we possess today shall be given to someone else on the day we die. Therefore, we must not take pride in giving since we are not giving anything that ‘indeed’ belongs to us.

So, let me ask you again. If we measured wealth, not by what we have but by what we give, who would be the richest person in the world?

For Khalil Gibran’s complete ‘Poem on Giving’:

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