The Art Of Giving
As Parsis, we are known for having mastered the two main aspects of life – ‘The Art of Living’ and ‘The Art of Giving’. In fact, we have repeatedly proven that the real essence in the art of living lies in its most integral aspect of giving. As Zoroastrians, we have not just embodied, but also gone on to become synonymous with the concept of Charity – our forefathers validated the very spirit of giving. We rose as India’s greatest philanthropists, even as we catered to the ‘Charity begins at home’ maxim. We gave to our country, and we gave to our own.
When we gave to our country, our national philanthropies played a great role in catapulting and cementing our otherwise ‘refugee’ status to ‘revered’. We gave, not just as a mark of gratitude for the safe haven granted to us, but also because it is the Zoroastrian way of life. When we gave to our own, it was to empower the lesser privileged of our lot with a platform assuring the basics – housing being the integral component – so that all community members, immaterial of financial standing, would be given an advantageous head-start, to continue and further fortify the legacy of greatness, glory and giving back.
While some have gone on to deliver on the ‘greatness and glory’ promise, ‘giving back’ seems to be shrouded under an apathetic lull. The privileges we receive as Parsis in India were meant to germinate into gratitude as the stepping-stone to continued and greater eminence. Unfortunately, for many, it metamorphosed into a sense of entitlement – crippling both, individual potential and community glory. At an individual level, the art of giving seems to be getting increasingly replaced with a penchant for ‘freebies’. It’s a mindset we need to break out of if we wish to perpetuate not just our glory but our very identity as a people known to exemplify both, the art of living and the art of giving.
Have a good weekend!