On the eve my engagement to be married, a close friend, accompanied
me to my home for moral support. Whilst I was inside the house
discussing the day's program with my family; my friend sat outside by
himself observing the poor, begging down our street.
When I returned to the verandah to keep him company, he told me that
over half a dozen poor people came to our house - but that all of them
did not go to any other house. Being the curious person he was, he asked
the poor people why they did not go to the other houses. To his surprise
they answered that "there was no point visiting the other houses as they
would be turned away empty handed." I had to explain to him, my father's
philosophy of putting aside 2.5 percent of his total earnings for the
poor as his social responsibility and being gratefully thankful for his
life on this earth, which most of us take for granted.
My friend having an inquiring mind, made a quick calculation and came
to this conclusion: (See table)
At this point we discussed the practicality of this and found that
even a beggar who earns only Rs 100 a day can give Rs 2/50 as his social
responsibility. But as ones total earnings gets bigger and increases he
tends to hold back through an element of greed or fear of giving too
much and keeping for himself a larger proportion. This is the concept of
Thanha in Buddhism, Greed in Christianity, Nafs in Islam.
Religions warn us severely of greed since it devours Man. Tanhawen
Vedanawa - Greed brings misery - is the Buddhist philosophy. Hinduism
advises Dharmam Thalikakkum (Charity will protect you from hardships).
Islam makes incumbent upon all Muslims to make their social contribution
from their personal wealth.
Indeed my father sincerely believed in this and he told us many a
time that giving your due share to society is a shield to many
calamities and will bring joy to your inner self as 'Joy of giving would
become the joy of living.' It will also make you naturally connect to
society and live in harmony with it.
If all of us made this contribution, there would be no necessity for
Income Tax jugglery, as it would be a flat proportionate rate for all.
Also the disparity between the rich and poor would be greatly reduced.
When man does not compete with man, there will be greater social
cohesion and unity. Think about it.
All our actions are judged by our intentions. Let's bury the twins of
greed and jealousy. Let us resolve to give with a loving heart, secretly
and for a certainty, you will reap what you sow. Think about it also as
a tax on our very existence on this earth.