The Law of Giving & Taking

I recall one lonely Saturday night back in Siem Reap. I needed a mid night snack, so I set off on my bicycle into town for some of that famous Cambodian ice cream rolls they make from chopped up fruit on a cold plate.

I was sitting on a milk crate eating my share when I noticed a boy no older than 10 years old, wandering around near the ice cream stands. I called him over to hand him a dollar. He took the money and came back to me with a friend of his, pointing at his friend, asking me to give his friend a dollar.

I said “no”, and signalled for him to split the dollar that was given to him.

The reason why I didn’t give his friend a dollar was because I wanted to teach him the value in sharing. That, when you are gifted with something, it’s your responsibility to share that gift with others. Regardless of the gift, whether it is monetary or a gift of genetic luck, it is our responsibility to honour those gifts for the sake of the bigger picture.

A proud moment was when I watched the kid get change and split the dollar with his buddy.

In Cambodia, community is important. Working in collaboration is a matter of survival. This is an area where the Cambodians thrive. Their sense of generosity is admirable.

Look out for the gifts that have been given to you in your life, not only the monetary ones. Think about the gifts of your personality, your talents, the family you were born into. It is your responsibility to honour those gifts in the pursuit of helping others. Being attentive to your environment will give you a sense of purpose and make the gifts that have been given to you feel far more meaningful.

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