Giving is a gift in itself

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 March, 2010, 12:00am

'Helping others is the basis of happiness.' This Chinese adage reminds people that helping others is beneficial to everyone.

But how do you define 'helping others'? I don't believe there is a fixed answer. There are many ways to help others, depending on what sort of support they need. You could help by donating money, clothes or food, or it could simply be hugging someone who is feeling sad.

Once you have helped someone else, you are left feeling satisfied. Giving something to others also means a gift for ourselves - it soothes our hearts and souls.

There's no excuse not to help those in need, no matter what they need.

Tsang Wing-suet, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Wing-suet. People today in developed countries, and in Hong Kong in particular, can often be quite selfish. They think about what they will buy for themselves with their lai see, or complain that nobody cares about their problems. But not many people think about what they could do for others.

There are many ways to help other people. For example, you could volunteer to help those less fortunate than yourself, whether it's visiting elderly people to talk to them, helping a younger student with their homework, selling flags for charity, or setting up a bake sale to raise money for victims of natural disasters overseas.

This is a practical way of offering help, and you can feel justly proud by doing something that will make someone else's life easier, even if it doesn't directly benefit you.

But you can also help others just by being aware of their feelings and situation. Knowing when someone needs a hug, a shoulder to cry on, or just some time alone, is a very useful gift.

What's more, when you give to others, you pass on the idea that giving is good. You never know when your actions could encourage someone else to give back.

Karly, Deputy Editor