The Art of Giving

Life always seems to be about give and take, we may be studying in order to receive a qualification, or working in order to make a living. This is an important part of the Sikh way of life and is called Kirat Karni. However, another aspect of the Sikh way of life is Vand Chhakna, sharing or giving. We are told that a minimum target we should aim for is Daswandh or 10%.

Giving money to worthy causes is very commendable, but in giving, it is also very easy to expect something in return. Modern fundraising campaigns often refer to benefits of giving, you may receive some public acknowledgement of your gift whether it be an announcement on the TV or during the Ardaas at the Gurdwara. There may even be some tax benefits of tithing or you may even receive a gift or prize. However, Gurbani tells us we must give selflessly, without expecting a reward.

Considering the publicity that many organisations generate from their community activities, I was interested to learn that most of these only give an average of about ½% of their profits to charities or community projects. I also came across an organisation called the percent club, whose member organisations aim to give 1% of their profits to charitable causes. I wonder how many Sikh businesses compare to these standards?

Bhupinder Singh