“If you get to decide what to do with your days, you are lucky.”

Similarly, we may even have the same flexibility with our money.
Times are tight. Money is tight. And so with all due sensitivity, here are five reasons to consider giving to the causes of your choice, during this crazy coronavirus era:

1. Needs continue. In fact, if anything, Covid-19 has exposed the fissures in our society. Precisely because there’s a class of people that can make it through this with minor (OK, some major) inconveniences, there’s a whole ‘nother class that can’t. People are still starving and contracting disease. So, if all you have is unease and not disease, you’re doing OK. Think of those less fortunate.

2. It helps helplessness. Covid-19 is so powerful that many of us feel powerless in its wake. We may not all have become doctors… I got into a six-year medical program out of high school and didn’t go. I think my parents finally got over it last week. It’d only been a quarter of a century. But just because we aren’t on the front lines doesn’t make us useless. By contributing, we can ourselves feel better that we’re doing our part.

3. Its not charity. It isn’t only about money. Those who are now juggling even more at home (e.g., rugrats in the house all day) may find themselves with even less time. But some of us have even more. Take some for yourself. No doubt. Recharge. Learn a new skill. But I’ve found, over and over again, that when I’m feeling down, directing some of my time to helping others makes me feel better. So, see if you can get others involved in giving. That takes time — and it’s appreciated.

4. Energy. My friend, Raman, has a rule: he will make a trip only if he can spend twice the travel time at the destination. So, if traveling to San Francisco and back takes two days, then he needs to spend four days to make it worth it. Same thing to come have lunch with me… if it’s a 30-min trek, he needs me to commit two hours to sitting down with him. OK, fine… to each their own. Well, I often have to decide whether to drive or fly from LA to SF. We all think of money and time. But we often forget the third resource: energy. Energy is an all-emcompassing one for emotion, gut, feelings, patience, etc. Expend that energy by getting involved. Record a funny video. Write something inspiring. Call a friend and maybe record the Zoom call and post it. This is the moment to share your talents with the world. We need it.

5. Karma is the cosmic what-goes-around-comes-around. As Indians, we are certainly familiar with it. In hard economic terms, GDP is quite literally the sum total of the transactions happening in the country. It’s the measure of the flow of money. The more the money circulates, the better we’re all doing, as it’s an indicator of how willing we are to part with our funds. If we’re feeling good about it, we must be confident it’s coming back to us in some way. Well, the more we all hold on, the worse it gets. Ironically, the less that returns. (That’s why it’s called a “return” on investment.) So, be part of the solution: put it out there and the Universe shall bring it back to you. And yes, I just tied spirituality to economics. My college Arts & Sciences department would be proud.

Kindly consider giving to ChaloGive.org.

Much Love!

– Rajiv