Don’t Wait. Give

Words: Nelressa STALLINGS-FAYE

I believe that some of our greatest works, or deeds, come from inclination. We use our mind to figure out things, balance our daily schedule, and so on. I also understand, as some people fervently do, there is enough space inside us, in our heart and mind, which may not always include spiritual consciousness, or connectedness, with people. Or, so we think.

I went to the mall, the other day, to buy clothes. I usually detest shopping, because of the searching and ‘size-matching’ for a good fit — blame it on my girth. With bags in my hand, I headed for the ATM to take out some cash for my cab ride back home. As I was balancing my shopping items, along with my wallet, I felt someone watching me. I turned to the right and saw a poor man in a blue jumper staring at me. His gaze expressed hopelessness. I caught his eye, as I glanced. Surprised, he quickly moved away. His hapless, sad face touched my heart, but I continued to punch away at the ATM to withdraw cash, without a second thought.

I pulled the money out of the machine. I tried unzipping my wallet, but the ‘singles’ bunched together from the inside and got caught in the zip. I silently practiced spiritual gratitude. I gathered my things and moved towards the exit of the mall.

On my way out, I came across the same man. On impulse, I reached for my wallet, grabbed the wad that I’d struggled with earlier and shoved it into the man’s hand. I noticed a strip of a smile emerging from his mouth, from ear-to-ear, but I kept moving towards the door. As I was walking, I could not make out what the man was saying, but I hoped he was happy — albeit for a fleeting moment.

The incident got me thinking. I wondered why people wait for a landmark occasion, a festival, a holiday, or a special day, in their life to do charity. In fact, charity can be practiced any time — whenever you have the urge, or impulse, to give. That inner feeling to help the nameless man triggered my impulse to give. I sometimes think that the world is filled with sad souls. Why wait for the ‘next time’ to do any good? Why shouldn’t we do good, just for the simple, not pretentious, sake of doing it.

This holds good for relationships too. Most of our spiritual awakenings happen in relationships and the people we spend the most time with. Think about your family, or loved ones — they are the ones who anger, frustrate, enrage, calm, love and enlighten us. If you are always alone, how will you grow?

Relationships will not always be perfect, but you can create your own perfect happiness that no one else will be able to define. When you quieten your mind and take hold of your inner consciousness and speak from within, you will find life interesting. You will also, in so doing, find fascinating, like-minded people just as well.

NELRESSA STALLINGS-FAYE, BA, MA, TESOL/TEFL/TOEFL, a former writer-copywriter-PR consultant, is US-certified and licensed K-12 educator, Cambridge certified lecturer, international administrative co-ordinator and research student from the University of Exeter. She currently works with the indigenous Yu’pik tribes in northern Alaska as a licensed educator and ESOL specialist.

[This article was first published September 12, 2022].

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