Let’s paint the town red

It is better to give than to receive.

with 7 comments

You smile and greet the auntie who sweeps the floor every morning. You buy your mother a present. You wave to that shy, quiet girl who doesn’t really speak to anyone. These are simple acts of giving, of reaching out to others.
It is better to give than to receive. Some of you will agree, while some of you won’t. Can giving really be better than receiving, or vice versa? Deepak Chopra has written a book titled The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. One of the Laws in the book is The Law of Giving. He believes that one’s body and mind, and the universe, are in constant and dynamic change, so stopping the circulation is the same as stopping the flow of blood. Whenever blood stops flowing, it starts to clot, stagnate. This is the reason why we must give and receive in order to keep whatever we want circulating in our lives. The more we give, the more we will receive in return. Giving does not have to be anything material, it can be a flower, a compliment, a prayer. Once we think about it, the most powerful forms of giving are non-material. The gifts of caring, attention, affection, appreciation and love are some of the most precious gifts one can give, and they don’t cost anything.
Of course, the giver has to want to give willingly, and graciously. It has been found that the mesolimbic pathway, one of the neural pathways in the brain, is activated by charitable giving, because this is where you will find the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with the brain’s pleasure system. Also, giving appears to increase the release of oxytocin, a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter and is involved in social bonding and building trust in between people. Basically, giving allows the giver to experience feelings of happiness, pleasure and satisfaction, especially if he has spent effort on the gift.
Giving is also a good stress reducer as well. Think about it. Imagine it’s a friend’s birthday tomorrow, and you decide to make her a card. Then you look at the torturous pile of homework on your study desk. You don’t feel like doing those worksheets, don’t feel like filling up those blanks, don’t feel like reading boring passages. You take some time to make a nice card for your friend and when you look at your homework again, you don’t feel so bad anymore. The next day, you pass the card to your friend, and you are lifted in high spirits as you see the smile on her face. You are touched as she thanks you and says how much she likes the card. You feel happy. You feel good about yourself.
Take the season of Christmas for another example. It is the time when most of us would give and receive gifts. Gift giving is supposed to represent an exchange of gratitude and friendship between two people. Would you feel guilty if someone gave you a gift more expensive than what you had given him? Similarly, would you feel ripped off if someone gave you a gift that was cheaper than what you had given him? I wouldn’t. I find no harm in gift giving, because I believe that it is the thought that counts, and that I would rather make someone else’s Christmas happy than be upset that no one got anything for me in return. That’s the spirit.
Have you ever thought of why people give? There are many reasons. It could be the feeling of accomplishment, or knowing that the help is appreciated, or that it is morally satisfying. Whatever the case, I believe it is not wrong to say that we give because we want to make a positive impact in our lives as well the lives of people we care about. Then, you say, why isn’t it better to receive? For one thing, some people may view receiving as an admission of failure especially if others do not seem to need such help. One such example would be a student who receives help with his studies because he is unable to cope. Others may also reject receiving because it is viewed as very obligating, or that it strongly affects the receiver’s freedom of choice and is also capable of damaging self-esteem.
Therefore, although giving may be a good thing to do, it is often uncomfortable to receive. The degree of discomfort depends largely on whether the receiver is able to reciprocate. To reduce this discomfort, you can ask the receiver to help someone else in the future as a way of repaying, thus starting a ‘helping chain’. This will lead to several positive results. One, the receiver is less likely to feel indebted. Two, a sequence is started far beyond your original act of giving and three, sometime in the future, this sequence of acts may come back to benefit you.
In conclusion, I say that it is better to give than to receive because of the difference one can make. As Emily Dickinson once said, “They might not need me; but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight; A smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.” Thank you.

Comments on  my speech would be appreciated (:
It is a known fact that I don’t like writing speeches, much less public speaking because I suck at both.


Written by obliterated

April 7, 2007 at 6:19 am

Posted in life

7 Responses

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  1. OMG EX-SIS YOU CAME OUT WITH A SPEECH ALREADY?! man and i’m still like, slogging chinese? oh gosh. and your speech is like SO GOOD LAH! i dont think i’ll be able to write such a pro speech. if you refer to my friday post on my blog and read that speech, that’s most probably my standard, or even lower. 😀 haha


    April 7, 2007 at 2:52 pm

  2. hey tessa!
    wah! ur speech very gd leh..but if our time limit for e speech is only 3 min, is your speech a bit too long? but it’s very well-written laa, very chim..haha:D very gd! must help me with my work ah~


    April 8, 2007 at 7:07 am

  3. i think both our speeches are a little too long (: haha but your speech is goooood. mine’s like not strong at all. i think no one will be persuaded ):


    April 8, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Yea but considering the time limit, it’s a bit long =) Maybe you could try cutting down on some examples? As in shorten it but if it lessens the IMPACT then better not. x))) haha worse come to worse, practise talking faster lor! wahaha but still coherent xD


    April 8, 2007 at 2:52 pm

  5. Oh my gosh. That’s so CHEEEEEEEEM…


    April 9, 2007 at 6:29 pm




    April 10, 2007 at 11:04 am

  7. Hello!
    No it’s not cheem okay. It’s simple English I didn’t use hard words >.


    April 10, 2007 at 2:59 pm

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