So many people in this society may think that in order to live a happy life, we should always gather things for ourselves, we should surround ourselves with comfortable things. People may think that we should give nothing, giving is a waste. That is how people think. Also, people ask why we should give things to others if others can also earn what they want. Why should we give? What are the benefits of giving?
Giving is an act of kindness. Being generous is an act of kindness. If we have a kind heart, if we have a compassionate heart, we will tend to give more to people. Do we know the meaning of compassion? Compassion means the feeling of sympathy or feeling of sadness when someone is going through a hardship. If you have that compassionate heart, you will try to give more to this world. Because the world needs humans’ help. Humans need humans’ help. That is why the Supreme Buddha taught us that we should give because if we give something to someone, suppose we give food to a person who is very hungry, suffering from hunger, he will feel comfortable, he will overcome his hunger and he will be happy, maybe for one day. When we give that food to that person, we will feel happy. We will feel mental happiness within ourselves. That happiness will last long until the end of our life. Whenever we remember that act of kindness that has been done by us, we will feel very happy about ourselves. We can be proud of ourselves that happiness cannot be bought for money.
Giving is an act that people with strong mindsets, and strong personalities always do. The people who are with low qualities, bad qualities will not give. They are not generous. They are a bit stingy in their life. They always think “if I need to be happy, I need to gather the things, I need to surround myself with pleasurable things, I should not give. Giving is a waste.” That is how they think. That is why we need to practice generosity. If we need happiness that lasts long, forever, start giving. See the joy of giving. It is very joyful and it is very enjoyable. It is amazing that when we see a person who is overcoming his hunger, having the food that is given by us, and when he is smiling, we feel that mental happiness. That is one of the greatest happy moments that we will have in our life. That is why we need to give. Always be a generous person.
What are the benefits of giving? The Supreme Buddha taught us there are five benefits for a generous person.
- Number one, The Supreme Buddha said he will be agreeable and he will be a nice and pleasurable person to many people. When we give something to someone, they will be happy. If we are generous people, always when people see us, they become happy. They may think, “oh, this person is very generous. He’s a nice person. He’s a kind person.” He will be agreeable to many people. That is the first benefit.
- Number two, the Supreme Buddha said good people will surround him. He will get into the association of good people. If we have that quality, that generosity within us, it is the nature of this world that the same things, the people with the same qualities get together. If we have generosity, people who have the same mindset will surround us. It goes the other way. If we have stinginess if we have evil thoughts within us, the people who are with evil thoughts will surround us. Evil friends will surround us. If we are generous, all these noble people, good people, the people with good generosity will surround us. We will get into association with good people. That is the second benefit.
- Third, the Supreme Buddha said he will acquire a good reputation in this world. People do not talk about our wealth. People only talk about how generous we are, how kind we are. That is what they talk about. What do we have to do? We need to give, we need to be generous. If we are generous, we will acquire a good reputation in life.
- The fourth benefit is, the Supreme Buddha said, his life will be virtuous. We will acquire a good personality, which is for free, and which is free from defilement. It is free from the evil things in our life because we generate more compassionate thoughts toward others. We generate more generous thoughts for others. The more we generate these wholesome thoughts, the more we will have a good personality within us. If we need to become a good person, if we need to become a virtuous person, if we need to have a confident personality, what we have to do- be generous.
- Number five, the final quality the Supreme Buddha said, one acquires lots of merit by being generous. As a result of those merits, the Supreme Buddha said, he will have a good rebirth. Most of the people do not have a good rebirth in this world. If we need to have a good rebirth, what we have to do is to be generous. Give to others. Giving is something that gives us happiness. Gathering and holding on to pleasurable things is something that makes us suffer.