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What does it really mean to give? This 9-year-old boy has the best answer

Video from Save The Children, via Youtube

After a weekend of shopping, today is Giving Tuesday - a day when the world is encouraged to think about giving back. But what does it really mean to give? I think that Gerald, a 9-year-old boy from the Philippines, does a better job of explaining than I ever could.

In this short film from Save The Children, we watch a child giving. Gerald gives feed to his chickens, he gives help to his parents, he shares half of his food with his little sister.

Gerald shares his umbrella with a friend. Screenshot from video by Save The Children.

Gerald gives. But the conundrum? We see no money involved.

I see charity advertisements, and I think ‘that looks great, but my bank balance will look a little empty if I give to all these causes’. I feel a bit useless, or sad, if I can’t afford to donate that month. And with some advertisements, I feel guilty that I’m not stepping up to help.

But should it just be guilt that persuades us to give? And is giving money the only way to give? In a second, ‘behind-the-scenes’ video, Gerald shows us more of his story.

With the infinite wisdom of a 9-year-old, Gerald answers all my questions at 1:20. He says ‘even if I won’t have any, as long as they have, it’s fine with me’.

Mother Teresa once said “it's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

Personally, I sometimes forget that giving does not have to involve money. We forget that the main reason to give is not out of guilt, or to feel good about ourselves. It is not out of pity. It should be out of love and compassion for others. Gerald loves his little siblings, so he shares his food. Simple as that.

Yes, of course my money can make a difference, and can be an incredible way to give. I run a small NGO myself - I have seen the impact that a small donation can have in changing someone’s life in a big way. But if, this Giving Tuesday, I find my bank balance looking a bit low, Gerald reminds me that there are still tons of different ways to give. There are so many causes, organisations and people who I could give to in a different way. Perhaps my time, ideas, or love might mean even more than money would. Suddenly I might find, like Gerald, that what I have to give seems like a whole lot more.


Zoe Kelland