The Joy Of Giving

Happy New Year. 2014 is here, a year which most of us are hoping will be an enjoyable one.

I’m sure some of us are already tearing our hair out at failing to cut down on hearty food or failing to be more organised people on these first few days of the brand new year. Resolutions down the drain and we’re feeling pretty lousy.

Give. And in return we may feel joy. Happiness | Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy. Photo: Mabel Kwong

Give. And in return we may feel joy. Happiness | Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy. Photo: Mabel Kwong

I’m not big on making resolutions. I don’t like living by a tight set of rules, preferring to go with the flow most of the time. Nevertheless this year, I resolve to give.

Giving. It’s often an act of spontaneity. Something spur of the moment.

Giving. A moment where we don’t focus on ourselves but on others. A rewarding moment in time.

I got a taste of the repercussions of giving a few days ago while in Melbourne’s Chinatown. Walking down Little Bourke Street, I spied a skinny, long-haired blonde Caucasian lady about half a block away from me. We were walking directly towards each other, on course collision. I looked at her; she caught me looking and stared back. I swerved to my left to let her pass. At exactly the same instant she swerved to her right. We were still in each other’s way. I moved to my right. She moved to her left. Still we were on course collision.

The summer wind whipped my layered hair around my face. She was eating what looked like a Chinese dumpling or bun out of a brown paper bag while walking. Both of us were making obvious efforts to avoid the other. Surely we looked hilarious.

She must have felt awkward. I know I did. Oh well. Looking directly into her eyes, I smiled. She smiled back. And she kept smiling until we passed each other – fortunately without incident. I no longer felt awkward, instead chipper. I daresay she felt this way too.

Giving comes in different forms. It can be a dollar donation to a charity. It can be lending a book to your neighbour. It can be buying your friend that pricey bag they’ve been eyeing for ages for their birthday.

Or it can be something as simple as a smile. A smile to someone you know. Someone you don’t know. Someone of the same race as you. Or someone of another race who is totally not expecting that smile and when they see you smiling, they see you as another kind human being and not an ethnicity to be feared.

Giving goes a long way. It makes us feel good. It makes those around us feel good.

So give this year. Most of the time it costs us nothing but kindness from our heart.

As the saying goes, happiness comes from within.

What do you plan to do this year?

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19 thoughts on “The Joy Of Giving

  1. The only real plan I have made for this year is to go swimming once or twice each week. I used to be professional swimmer years back and now I feel rather bad that I have avoided the pool for so long time (trying to stay in shape…)

    Oh, besides that I have still the same plan as the past years, getting better in Chinese.


    • That sounds like a very productive New Year’s plan. Staying in shape is always very challenging especially if we work full time and have a life outside of work. I find it challenging to maintain my stamina – it goes downhill almost immediately if I veg out on the bed playing video games all day 🙂

      Good luck with improving your Chinese. I remember my Chinese classes as a kid – I always found speaking this language much more easier than writing it.


      • Well I managed to go to swim and now I feel as if my whole body is one big muscle pain…but I gotta stick to it otherwise I will feel bad about it again.

        The written Chinese is a huge challenge and I am already happy that I only learn the simplified characters, not the traditional. Everyday studies for the past 9 months now, hope it will show some results soon 🙂


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  3. What a lovely post Mabel. When you watch people walk their dogs, you see how the dogs have no problems in running up to each other to play and salute one another (or fight, lol). But with people its like we want to pretend each other doesn’t exist, no smiles, no eye contact… Until it happens then we see that it’s nice. xx


    • Thanks, Sofia. Yes, that’s a very good observation. Animals are so comfortable with each other as opposed to people. I think we are always afraid of being judged as that “weirdo who peeps at other people” so we pretend people around us don’t exist. But if we all took a moment to smile more then it would be a different story 🙂


    • Thanks, Jess. Any idea, everyone’s ideas are fantastic in their own right. Let’s all spread the love and more importantly, positivity, and trust that things will work themselves out 😉 Happy New Year to you too!


  4. Very nice, giving is such a simple concept but so difficult to do at times…but I does make both the ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’ feel so good. Great resolution! Happy ’14 Mabel.


    • I’ll admit that it does give me a twinge of sadness sometimes when someone makes a gruff “harummff” at a simple, happy thing being done. But giving should never be difficult 🙂 Happy 2014, Dalo. This year should be a good one!


  5. I hope the resolution is working out well.

    I always go by the rule move over to the left, overtake on the right. Of course it would be different in countries which drive on the other side of the road. Mostly it works. 🙂


    • I like to think my resolution of giving is working out well. Everyday when I get off the tram for work, I say “Thank you” to the driver. And I mean it because I know how tiring it can be to work all day.

      Hahaha, hope you stick to driving on the “right” side of the road here in Australia. If I ever see a right-swerving car on the roads here, I’ll think, “Oh, it’s Dragon…” 😀


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