What can I give?

An email shows up in my mailbox last week:

My university teacher, also my dear friend passed away recently. I received many books from his collection and they are placed on the third floor. Please feel free to take as many as you want.

Recently, I have developed a keen interest in reading, though my domain is very limited. Still, I went on the third floor to find two cartons of books lying on a table near the elevator. Mostly, they were about mathematics, general science, evolution, astronomy and later on artificial intelligence, computer science. Being curious about space and stuff, I picked up a few and left for my office. On the way, something clicked inside me. I somehow felt connected to the owner of those books. I realised that he must have been a very active reader throughout his life, wondering things about the past (evolution) to that of future (AI, computers, astronomy). Even though he is not here, but the books that I’ve taken along will always remind me that they were unintentionally given by him. What he must have cherished all through his life is still going to make a difference in lives of people like me. Unfortunately, I can not thank him, but it goes without saying. It makes me question myself: what can I give? What can I give selflessly when I’m alive and even beyond?

Books are definitely the first thing that pops into my head, but the question is more important, and deep. The more I ponder on it, the more I question myself. I am not a giver I think, but I wish to spread what I know, maybe that’s an act of giving? We might think that if we keep on giving, then we may not get what we want at the end. But the experience and wisdom of many old (and wise) men have always pointed to the fact that we feel most fulfilled during this act of giving (This has been beautifully portrayed in the book “What can I give” about the former Indian President and Missile Man, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, I can not cite anything better). If you’re reading this, I want you to ask yourself the same thing and if any answers come your way, please, I really mean it, please share with all of us.


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