Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi party during the Holocaust. He had always dreamed about having a big fortune. Finally, his dream came true when he presided a factory in which many Jews worked. In the movie Schindlers list, directed by Steven Spilberg, we can see that during this time, the Jews were seen as animals and they had to work for the Nazis. If they could not worked, they were killed brutally.
Generally, the people considered incapable to work were the people and the elderly. They were taken to concentration camps were their lives ended. When Oskar Schindler got his wealth, he realized that he was not as happy as he tough he would be. After seeing a lot of murders he decided to buy as many as many Jews as he could to make them work for him so that they could be saved. He made lists with a lot of names and he paid for each of them. Most of the people in those lists were those who could not work. He took them to labor in his weapon factory, and he told his workers that he was going to be very angry if one of the weapons really worked.
When the war ended and the Jews got their freedom, Schindler lost all his money. Even thought he had lost everything he had always wanted to obtain, he got sad and started crying when he tough that the clothes he was wearing could have saved more people. One thousand Jews survived the Holocaust because of him.
Nowadays, there are approximately 6000 descendants of those Jews. They remember Schindler as their father to whom they owe their lives.
Schindler will be always remembered as a good person that realized that life has no sense when we only get. He also realized that spiritual wealth could be multiplied by giving it to others. We must give to be completely happy because the feelings that we have by giving are much better than those we have when we receive are.
Giving is the only way to find a purpose to our lives. If we do not have a purpose, we will never find an answer to Why was I put on this world?
Some people think that the time we spend on Earth is so short that we should try to get and receive as much as we possibly can to be completely happy. These people may think that that is the answer to the question: Why are we here?
People that give in life receive much more reward s than people who only want to receive.
Dr.Maradiaga, a family friend helps poor people that cannot afford to pay him. Once I asked him why he did it and he told me that for him it was very hard to know that people that are sick, can get worse because they cannot get the attention they need from an specialist and for him that is more reward to know he is helping people that really need him. He told me that helping people gives him a sense to his life and to his profession.
In his book: Real Magic, Wayne Dyer states: You acquire and keep nothing for your life. All you can do is to give away in the service of others. It is a domain of purpose that miracles begging to occur in relationships (114-115).
Another good example of someone that applies this principle is a woman from my country called Vivian Pellas. She has a lot of money and she is probably the richest person in my country. She owns a lot of companies but one day she had the bad luck that she was going to another country with her husband and her grandparents and the airplane crashed. She and her husband were lucky to survive this accident, but she lost her parents and she was in a very bad condition with second-degree burns and she was in a very serious situation. She now has to wear a glove to hide all the scars that she has because of the accident. Even though this was not a good thing, this help her realized that she could do more for people and she started to help people that dont have the money to have a surgery and she founded many organizations to help this people. The good part is that now she enjoys helping people and she is giving even if it is in smaller proportions to what she really could give. With her work, she is saving a lot of people and that is the best feeling in the whole world. You get the satisfaction of looking at people with a smile and that is worth millions.
Giving can also be showed in other ways. For example, my sister and my brother were always the best students of the school. For some reason they always understood the classes specially, mathematics even thought the other students sometimes did not understand.
Whenever they always understood the material of the class the did not care and spend hours explaining the material to other students. I think it was because my mom always told them to be grateful to God because they had the ability to understand easily and she always showed them that the best way to thank god for those gifts was sharing with others what you know. It is always better to give and not expect to receive anything from anybody. When you give you, get a special feeling that cannot be compared to anything else. By helping, others you win a friend and you show others to give love.
In his book Real Magic, Wayne states that: Love is giving and it has nothing to do with receiving. He also quotes J. Krishnamurti when he writes that:
To love is the most important thing in life. When you love someone because that person loves you in return, surely that is not love. To love is that extraordinary feeling of affection without asking anything in return. You may be very clever, you may pass all your examinations, get a doctorate and achieve a high position, but if you do not have this sensitivity; this feeling of simple love, your heart would be empty and you would be miserable for the rest of your life (116).
I can not imagine going through this life and leave not even a single print in anybody’s life. In other words, I think we are here for another reason, I would not like to die without having accomplished anything good or having done something for others. If we do not love others, we will never be happy. This does not refer only to the true love we give to our partner. It refers to the love we give to our parents, to our friends, and to anyone else that needs us. The best moments in our lives are those when we see someone happy because of something we gave them or when you make something special for them. An easy example is when you do a favor for your roommate and she knows how hard it is for you. They feel more gratitude and you are showing them you really care and that can be the best feeling.
Another great person is Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She died on September 5th, 1997. She dedicated all her life giving and helping the needy. She helped them because she loved them. That love was certainly true love, because she did not expect anything in return from them. Every thing that she had done by the time she died was more than enough to feel that her job on Earth was already done. Every tome she helped someone she felt happy. A writer shows the legacy she left, when he writes “by her death, she headed a network of 4,000 nuns and 120,000 lay workers in hospitals, orphanages, leper houses and Aids Centers in 450 sites across the world.”
Magic Johnson got AIDS some years ago. As Solomon Herbert writes ” when Johnson tested positive for the HIV virus and opted to retire from basketball on November 7, 1991, he decided to use this opportunity to help others rather than maintain a low profile about his condition” (84). Instead of being depressed and waiting for help, he is the one trying to make the difference.
Thinking about Johnson brings a very good friend to my mind. She is the mother of one of my friends, Juan Pedro. Although she has breast cancer, I always see a big simile on her face. In Christmas night, there is always an additional place on her table for a child without parents. She also takes care of parsons with cancer, and tries to cheer them up. Although she has cancer, she and her family are the happiest persons I know. They understand that each time they give, someone smiles and that is the light in their lives, that gives them strength to go on. Magic Johnson have something n common: They have not let the sadness go into their hearts.
Celine Dion’s niece died some years ago of cystic fibrosis, which is a disease that every year, kills many people. Celine got married two years after her death and, as Bonnie Siegler tells us,”At the couples’ s request, 532 family members and friends made out checks to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-totaling $200,000 – in lieu of wedding gifts”(23). With her action, Celine felt nearest her niece.
George Bush experienced something similar. In the recently opened George bush Library, there is a picture of a cute little girl that called everybody’s attention. She was a daughter of Bush. Under the picture, a note narrates her story. She died of leukemia when she was 4 years old, and after her death Bush founded the Leukemia Foundation to give helps to those that are suffering this disease. Most of the times our suffering can be lessened when we do something to help others to diminish their suffering. Giving is again our best medicine.
My Uncle Jose Alfredo has always loved giving to others. When he was a child, he enjoyed giving his toys to children that could not afford to buy them. When he grew up, he keeps his tradition. Although he did not have enough money, he used to make a big effort to buy some toys for the needy children. In addition, each time a friend knocked at his door for help, he was always there. Like magic, every business he runs is a success. He continues helping others much more than before, and happiness and abundance always mark his life.
However, this abundance is not only of material things. He has abundance of love. He keeps telling me that life is the way he had always wish it to be.
In his book, “You would see it when you believe it”, Dyer shares with us something that has helped him in his life: “The more you give away without any expectations, the more you would receive back” (197).
Teresa Acquaviva is a nurse. She helps sick people and makes them her friends. In an article I recently read, she writes: “My patients have tough me a great deal about their need to give when they feel they have received-about the cycles of giving and receiving” (80).
When we receive we do not have that warm feeling that comes when we know that what we did helped somebody else. Some days before Christmas my friends and I used to go to a nursing home in my city. We used to go and make that people spend a special day sharing things with them, making them laugh and giving them gifts. Usually, they gave us something they really appreciated. Generally, it was not very expensive, but it was very valuable for us. However, what they really gave us was that sensation of peace and love that we feel each time we do something to make someone happy. They let us make them laugh and that was the biggest gift we received from them.
Life is so short. However, what we do in the few years we are here can be forgotten right after we are put in the grave, or they can be remembered forever. If we give to others, those who receive from us will make us immortal. To be immortal does not mean be physically here. It means being present in the person’s heart. We can also be dead while alive if we do not do something to be remembered and appreciated. Giving is the only way to live forever. Otherwise, the words “He lived and died, but no one knows who he was”, will be read in our epitaph.