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12/19/2008, in category "The Virtue of Giving"
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New York, New York, United States
Noel Simon won the second prize for this article in the essay competition conducted by the Youth Group and the Finance Committee.
"Like Einstein said, we are only true men once we learn to let go of the desire to receive something when we give to others."
The Virtue of Giving
By: Noel Simon
The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving. When questioned about his thoughts on education 75 years ago, one of the greatest minds on earth believed that a man's worth resides within the selfless act he does; that to receive no recognition for his acts is equally important as the good he does. Albert Einstein, despite the hatred and persecution he faced, still had it in his heart to love and care for those less fortunate than him. Einstein reminds us what we were taught as little children: the welfare of our brother is more important than the comfort and ease we seek as individuals. We may think about this and say, I cannot be bothered with the problems of others; I am just at a point in my life where I must think about my career and my family. And it is with this mindset we will conclude that someone else will care for those in need. But we underestimate the power of giving.
We are not to live selfish lives for our Lord has said, Anything you give in my name, my Father will give you ten fold in return. Jesus wanted his children to take care of one another. Are we deny our starving brother food or our scared sister shelter. We are to look past our selfish needs and lend a hand to our friend in need because our friend's satisfaction should be all the happiness and repayment we expect. Giving should come naturally; we must never be forced into providing for those in need. What is upsetting is that people see the faces of little children crying in hunger, crying for their parents, crying in pain, and we have the ability to turn our heads away from their faces. The aid that we provide helps these children find homes and a future. It is amazing how many people believe that someone else will take the initiative to help others. This is just human nature. In fact this social phenomenon is coined the diffusion of responsibility in which people do not tend to take responsibility for others welfare simply because the responsibility was not entrusted upon them. It is sad to see people only willing to help others when they are told that they must.
Many are dying of war, violence, and loneliness. Hence giving does not come only through financial means. It can come through companionship as well. When we see others down and upset, we must be the first ones to try to console that person. Giving someone a shoulder to cry on is just as good as helping the poor. People fail to realize that friendship is great way to help others. When you are there for someone and they are there for you a bond is formed that is hard to break. This bond is forever strong and is also a vow to help one another anytime, anyplace, any how. For when you give your time to spend with another person there is no money in the world that can show your friends gratitude for your time. Friendship is one of the finest way of giving, a way that we tend to forget.
However there is one man in this whole world who gave without expecting anything in return, who gave for the benefit of others, who gave without anyone telling him to. This man has made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. God has given us his son Jesus Christ; he has made the ultimate sacrifice by having his son die on the cross for our sins. Today, what father would ever want his son to have the death of Jesus Christ on the cross? Any father would only want the best for his son, but God knowing that our redemption was more important, handed his Son over to us. We can never be like God, but we can learn from his loving care and good kindness. Like God we too must be able to love and freely give. We are just mere mortals in this world and we always try to reel in benefits of our actions, we fail to see that sometimes there are far more important things in life than recognition and praise. Giving should be done for the sake of giving, we should never do it to gain some benefit in return. Like Einstein said, we are only true men once we learn to let go of the desire to receive something when we give to others.