The Art of Giving

My mother sent me money. Just the thought of it makes my stomach go funny. Money is the last thing I want from her. All I really want is some understanding when I tell her that 9-5 job and a husband with bleached shirt might not be something that I am after.

My first thought was to send it back showing how insulted I was by her generosity. That would not make anyone happy. This is her way of telling me I LOVE YOU.

I was thinking of spending it on some extravaganza while travelling. I thought of going on an air balloon when I was visiting Bagan temples in Myanmar. I could also go for one of those overpriced diving joys in Thailand or have a spa day. I could rent a room with an infinity pool.

Never have I really been a big spender when it comes to my needs, but I can lose myself when I decide to spend it on those I love. I have learned the hard way that giving can also cause damage.

ho chi minh market
There was an immense urge to give when I was volunteering in Cambodia. I met Vannak, a 15 year old Khmer boy. Vannak’s parents have died and he has been moved from one school to another because of his love to dance and music, his inability to stay still for long enough.

Vannak looked with envy at my laptop and a smart phone. He asked me who got it for me. He could not understand that I had to work and earn money to buy everything I had. You see, from the very early age, Vannak has been given everything he had by  his friends, teachers, volunteers and strangers.

A friend of mine met a boy. She told him he was not her type and they could only be friends. He pampered her, paid for every meal, looked after her when she was ill. No one has ever been so kind and sweet to her without trying to get anything back. One day he got tired and blocked her on Facebook.

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