One afternoon, I joined Charity Focus folks to distribute food to homeless people. We went around a few streets in Manhattan. I was at the office in the morning, a little overloaded with work, and had plans to travel back to India. Still, I wanted to take part in this activity in the afternoon. We gathered at a coffee shop and other members of the group came with lots of food packaged properly for distributing.
The first person we offered food, cried at the gesture of lovingly been offered food. This was an emotional moment for all of us and really touched me. After this, the rest of our food distribution happened at a particular place near Port Authority where many such needy people sit. Here the food was distributed quickly with a crowd surrounding us and receiving our packets. Our activity got over by 5:00 p.m. and we started back to our homes.
However, I was still feeling the need to do more. I distributed some more stuff that I was carrying. Still the satisfaction was a little less. Hence, I decided to buy a good meal and find someone, and give it to that person. I decided to buy dinner for myself but give it to someone needier and miss out my dinner for the day. This was an inspiration I never had before. But, somehow it clicked.
There weren’t any beggars around for the next three or four blocks and I was wondering whom I would give the food to. I found one but he refused to take food, as he needed only money. I found another person, but by the time I could approach him he went away.
But, I had a feeling someone would come. Then, I found a lady sitting on one corner of the road. I asked her if she would like to eat something and she agreed. I told her I would be back just in a moment. Just opposite to where she sat, I found a good place to buy food. I purchased nice pizza and cake. I went back and gave the entire package to her. I assumed she would be excited and start eating at once but instead she just kept the package and started asking for money. I added some money as well and went off.
After this as I walked home and later I felt a surge of satisfaction I never experienced before. I didn’t feel hungry though I hadn’t eaten much the whole day. This was a unique, deep feeling, I felt a little uplifted from my normal self and very peaceful within.
This is what happens when we give what we actually need. I never got that feeling by doing any other action and I am sure those beautiful moments are worth any sacrifice. What I got was much more than what I gave.