Books and Me: The Art of Effective Giving

Title: The Art of Effective GivingThe art of effective giving

Author: R.M.Lala

There are many reasons why we may want to pick up this little gem on giving.

Reason #1 : The book is attractively packaged by the publishers. The size, the cover, the layout and the print, make the book irresistible, especially if you are looking for an easy read.

Reason #2: The title is interesting enough to elicit attention. It immediately raises some questions in one’s mind like is giving an art? What is effectiveness in giving? What is the art in effective giving?  Is it really possible to teach giving? I am sure each of us will have our own list. The above ran in my head influencing me to pick it up.

Reason #3:  With eleven books to his credit , the author R M Lala is not an unknown name amongst Indian Writers. Most of us may have read and been impacted by one of his earlier writings.  My personal favourite which also introduced me to the author was the title ‘Beyond the Last Blue Mountain’. If you are a fan of the Tatas and their legacy there is probably no one who has written more on them than this man. This book also has an interesting foreword written by Ratan Tata, which seals the case for picking this book

The book is divided into two broad parts, with the first dedicated to personalities and the second to principles. Both parts have short chapters with specific and focused writing. The personalities section speaks about Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, Andrew Carnegie, Sir Jamsetjee JeJeebhoy,  Jamsetji Tata, Sir Dorabji Tata, Sir Ratan Tata and Azim Premji. The second part discusses giving at the level of an individual, instituition and how to widen the group of people who give.

In today’s world where the number of charities and foundations are on the rise and the voice to make the world better is becoming louder this book provides ample suggestions on all aspects of giving. As I complete this blog post, I wonder why I should build a case for someone to be reading a book on giving. And the below quote present towards end of the book captures why every one of us should understand giving better “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill


2 thoughts on “Books and Me: The Art of Effective Giving

  1. just want to add on point….

    When i was going through a book – Governing business and relationships, written by ParthaSarathy (, I got one point similar to what you have mentioned above – “We born to give but not to take”

    After some more study, I saw another phrase – “We born to sacrifice and serve others”. I understood it as – “We born to sacrifice ego and serve others”. Even this is good and almost same as above..

    I am thinking about how this can be implemented and here is the thought:-
    Example: Consider a family of four – Wife, Husband and two children. If husband thinks about what I can do by giving up ego (instead of thinking about duties or rights or why should I) to wife/kids and performing whatever he can (irrespective of what he is getting from wife/kids) would make Wife also think the same way and if she also started doing the same, then it creates love (not attachment***) between them and that creates healthy environment for the children to grow. If this behavior extends to their next flat, office, few flats in their apartment, colony,city…. and it creates wonders.

    So, would like to say giving means “giving ego” but not anything else. Even this differentiates human from animals. Only human can do this. Not doing this makes us animals and it’s very much visible in this current world.

    ***attachment = love + selfishness. love = attachment – selfishness

    I am remembering another story in this context – When Yasodha tried to tie Krishna with a rope, it fells short by two inches whatever she does (even a rope with 1 KM length fell short by two inches).. This got clarified by Kandalai Ramanujacharya and by some other scholars – it actually stands for two things keeps us away from realizing self which are Ahamkaram (Selfishness) and Mamakaram (Attachment)… Once we give up this two, we will end up in giving…

    Found one way to give up ego – if we observe the external world, we see different people with different amount of intelligence/abilities. Why it is happening so? Why can’t god makes everyone same? A complete selfish person thinks why god is making some XYZ so much rich/intelligent but not me..

    So, there should be some system by which God is giving different abilities to different people so that this world tuns. Based on our Vedas, God gives abilities by means of our Karma in the past. So, our intelligence/abilities are just given by god and there is nothing to feel great about it. I mean if I achieved a gold medal in some competition beating many others, I just need to pass this credit to God as it happened because of the intelligence/abilities given by him. Others lost as they were not given such abilities. If you do so, you will not be blinded with pride/arrogance and also need not carry the pressure to retain the top position. Doing this eventually frees us from ego and keeps us in touch with God always which makes us do right things always.

    1. Vijay – very very interesting thoughts… worth an individual blog by itself! Thanks for sharing and I am sure many would find pursuing this line of thinking in terms of giving both stimulating and useful.. just the way I did after reading it..

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