I have always believed that giving and doing good is just like a boomerang, you throw it in one direction and it returns back to you from another. I still remember with appreciation and reverence the names of the people who did good to me and helped me throughout my academic, professional and social life. I was not able to return the favour to many of them, but in return, I am keen to aid other people who need my help, I hope that one day they will return this help to other people.
Positive interaction between humans is the secret of their progress, success and happiness. Man is a social animal, he influences and is affected not only by his surroundings, but by the generations that preceded him and those who will follow him, and whenever he can leave a positive imprint and a good impact, he can prove that his presence in this life is meaningful.
Giving represents a high degree of human awareness, especially when it is accompanied by enjoyment, without feeling tired, or bragging about it. Giving is a positive energy that a person sends to those around him, and the secret of giving does not lie in mere giving, but your sense that you are turning into a better person.
My mother, may God have mercy on her, always used to tell me that ‘strength is from within’, and by this, she means that the source of our true strength lies in ourselves before we derive it from our position, knowledge, or money. I believe that strength is synonymous with happiness, and true happiness lies in our love for each other.
I remember that I read about a study that took place over 80 years at Harvard University in the United States. It concluded that the most important cause of happiness is ‘good friends’, which represent more reasons to feel happy, compared to money and success. The study proved a strong link between relationships with friends and happiness and the consequent improvement in the status of one’s health. It concluded that good friends played a role in protecting people from mental and physical decline.
At the same time, I try to give my experience and open my heart to everyone who wants to learn, in the hope that he can benefit from it. That’s why I devoted a large part of my time over about four years to finish my book ‘I’m Not Done’, in which I talked about 50 years of my life’s journey and made it available to anyone who wanted it.
The American University of Beirut even put it in its library and advised its students to read it.
I believe that this book is a form of giving, after all we are all ephemeral human beings, and we must be careful to leave a trace for the benefit of others. When everything precious that we collected during our journey in this world fades and evaporates, there are things that remind people of us, including a valuable book.
And, you should not wait until you become rich or a senior or an influential official to start giving.
Giving may be a smile on the face to a child, a neighbour, or someone you do not know. It may be help offered to an elderly person crossing the road, or when you prevent others from coming to harm. A person is able and even required, to give, regardless of his age, position, or condition.
Giving is also internal, to give yourself what you deserve of inner peace, and to protect your heart from evil, envy, and hatred. Then you can move towards others with an open heart, a pure intention, and the ability to positively interact with them, just as the river returns to the sea, so does the human giving return back to us.