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TOUCH SOMEONE TO GET FULFILLED NOT BURNED

One of the most fulfilling part of life is to give back especially if you are blessed with more than most. The chances are most will pass it on, not come back and bite you. Some millionaires and billionaires got together and challenged one another about giving back in United States and others have joined them, even from poor countries. There are too many needs in this world for the rich and gifted to close their eyes to poverty.

African names like Abiola, Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim, Dangote and Patrice Motsepe amongst many whose names will never be printed because they remain anonymous. The problem with African entrepreneurs is that they die with their businesses and many times with their money. We have to learn to pass it on; if left in competent hands.

It is a part of most people to feel good when they give back or lend a helping hand to the poor. They are better than some do-gooders that want to be recognized for the sake of publicity. Their acts of giving comes from inside. Even those giving for publicity sake do satisfy a need of their own. So men and women are naturally born to be helpful to one another. Competition and greed may change that graciousness.

Fortunately, even the poor that are rich and blessed in many other ways have been sharing their talents and skills with those less talented. God did not create any useless people on earth, we all have something to share with one another. One of this writer's favorite is a man that thought himself how to repair bicycles because his own broke down and could not afford to buy another one. He started saving junk bikes for repair.

Poor children were happy to have their own bikes for the first time in their lives donated to them by someone trying to repair his. The amount of joy this man brought to these kids was immeasurable. He felt so good about himself, no amount of money could make him happier. This can be understandable if we believe a study that showed most of the people who won lotteries end up poor again and more miserable. After all that money?

Unfortunately, these days the rich, the well-off and the poor that want to share some of what they have are getting weary of ingrates that want to pouch on them. It is not that everyone that gives money or shares, have so much. Many people even deny selves a little to give to those that little means much more. Out of meager pay, school teachers buy supplies and children contribute to the needy while others give to food pantries.

In term of percentage of what we have, since the poor give more of it, we can consider the poor and the not so well-off generally more generous. Since generosity comes naturally, there is still great hope for this world despite the inequalities growing within the same continent, country and people. Recently generosity came back to bite some.

When you expose yourself as a donor of goodwill and people take advantage of it, many question your motive and rationale. So many donate anonymously without leaving trails so that nobody would demand more than what they can afford. Giver of big tips in a bukaeria may not show up again. There are friends that may decide to pick up the tab one day but not on another day. If he does it once, some people expect it every day.

When we were growing up in Lagos, in those days, there was this motherless baby's home nearby. People dropped clothes, money and more. Well later, some jokers turned that name into something else that will be a topic for another day. Until lately and in some parts until now, Sundays and Fridays were days of feast in some people's homes for the poor. Many stopped because it became an opportunity to kidnap the rich.

We need to reach out to one another, not further away. May God bless Rashidi Yekini, he opened his door for his mother in Ibadan when killers grabbed him. By the way, in Jamaica Peter Tosh opened his compound for soccer with the poor where a few demanded his money or his life. Bob Marley used to do that too. Mix with the people!

Usually these people are 'efulefu', 'kenimani', 'Yan-Kiran-Raba' or 'bad bele' for lack of better words. Many stories exemplify this syndrome like that of crabs pulling down a crab that is trying to get out of a barrel. No, you are not going anywhere; we are destined to suffer together here. The case of a drowning man, in desperation, pulling another one with him also comes to mind. He may just be trying to stay afloat.

The act of giving has been changed by many factors. Some of these factors have a ring of truth like looting us blind, then grace your conscience with crumbs as gifts to the poor as if your are doing us a favor. They cast shadows over people that deny themselves so that other less fortunate than them can have. As parents readily starve so kids could eat.

The consequences of high expectation could be dangerous especially for those without much. It may be hard to believe that you deny yourself so that others may have. This has led to children expecting more than their parents could give, relatives considering you stingy or those you hardly know but empathize with demand you should give more.

Unrealized expectation gets some people angry. Oh, our friends got Benz, my mother got me a Beatle, the wife might be a miser, my brother could be selfish or the big man refused to pay a neighbor's children school fees. These are reasons anger is built up on and people think they are justified in demanding what they did not work for.

Let us be sincere with ourselves, some of us that are big spenders do it to aggrandize our status. There are conspicuous spenders that would not give or buy anything until there are people around, specifically to flaunt and impress ladies. King of the jungle secretly wishes others never get to his level. All these create enmity. It plays into the hands of hoodlums; while putting those of us with little without security into danger.

It is important to set example for others especially those close to us like our children, husbands, wives and relatives. They just want to be like you, boss. Window shopping in wealthy neighborhoods create demands to acquire. In order to acquire, we need money that has to come from somewhere. That is why they have looting in many rich countries whenever there is a blackout or an opportunity to riot. Transpose that into African families.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Farouk Martins Aresa and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa