“Many millionaires today are engaged in filling their own belly. They are not prepared to give even a morsel of food as alms to a beggar who stands at their doorstep. What is the use of having such rich men in our country? They are rich only for name’s sake but in reality they are the poorest of the poor.” (Bhagwan Baba).
In a queue where food was being distributed to people who were rendered homeless due to Earthquake, stood a girl who like others had not had a decent meal for days now. She was the last one in the queue and after giving her a packet of food, the good Samaritans moved off to the next camp. A moment later, came an old man who despite trying to hobble fast, could not make it in time. As the distribution van moved off, the girl saw that the old man, wiped a tear from his eyes. Without a second thought the girl opened her packet of food and said, “Come Baba, eat this food.” The old man looked at her through hazy eyes and stared at her as if he had seen an angel. He said, “No, I can’t take that; you must be hungry too.” The girl insisted, so eventually the girl and the old man shared the food and smiled in contentment.
Meanwhile the van reached another devastated area, where there were people in the same condition. The area was supposed to have been a posh one, but it had been completely mowed down by the earthquake. There was a girl in the queue for a food packet who the man handing out packets seemed to recognize. He asked her, “Who are you, young lady?” The girl spoke a little hesitatingly, “I am Ira … daughter of Brijesh Lal.” The man said, “Oh! Brijesh Lal was a very rich man! So did all of your family perish in the earthquake?” “No,” she said. “Where are they?” The wistful look in her eyes touched his heart as she said softly, “My father and I were buried under the rubble. My father was a man of repute; a rescue team came to look for us, but my mother told them, that only she and my brother were there and that there was no one else when the calamity took place. So they took both of them to a safe place. I kept calling out, but no one heard me. My father was already dead. The next day another rescue team came. They saw me breathing and dug me out.”
“Did you not tell them who you are? How could your mother do that?” The girl lowered her eyes and whispered, “It would be of no use. She never got along with my father. My mother was his first wife . . . and now . . .” The girl could speak no longer; and the man was at a loss for words too.
Isn’t it amazing? Those who had nothing were able to value the priceless! Generosity in its true sense does not evolve within us when we have lots to give; its sprouts when we think of all as ONE and therefore do not have the urge to grab. Isn’t life just a journey from I to We?
Strangely, sometimes the rich can be so poor . . . and the poor can be so rich!