What We Can Learn From The World’s Most Generous Nation
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What We Can Learn From The World’s Most Generous Nation

Myanmar is named the World's Most Generous Nation for the fourth year in a row.

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Thuwati Aung

Myanmar was recently named the "World's Most Generous Nation" for the fourth year in a row by the World Giving Index. Now, being a true and pure Burmese myself, I get a little excited every time I see the word "Myanmar". Especially seeing news on Myanmar that praised the country, amidst the Rohingya crisis going on in Northern Myanmar, made me happy and proud. Yup, I'm Burmese, and we're a generous bunch. (But I'm also in college and broke, so please don't come asking for things.)

When I first saw the news, I was surprised. How can our country actually be the most generous? After all, we are one of the worst performing economies in the world and classified as lower-middle income by the World Bank. In such a nation, so much of our values come from teachings that have been passed down across generations.

As a Burmese, here are three such teachings I've grown up with:

Always donate on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, New Year's, or full moons.

Ever since I can remember, my birthday celebrations include going to the pagoda at dawn and donating flowers and incense sticks, saying prayers, and donating to monks and nuns at the pagoda. The same goes for full moons of each month– it's very common for people would make donations at orphanages or monasteries on full moon days. In fact, on the full moon of October, we celebrate our Thadingyut Light Festival where we not only pray to Buddha, but also to any and every relative who are older than us with gifts and receive pocket money in return!

"You will never be poor from donating."

This was a common phrase that came from my mom to encourage me to be a life-long donor, you could say. She would say donating and spending are two very different things. Donating is a selfless act and you'll never be poor because you donate. In fact, you'll be helping out people who really need it, which will result in good karma!

Give without expecting anything in return. Give simply to give.

Selflessness is the center of Burmese teaching. Like that, when donating things, I was always taught to not expect any payback in return. Otherwise, it's borrowing, not donating. Additionally, when you donate selflessly, good things will come to you in times of need even without having to ask for it.


Now that you know more about Burmese values, are you inspired to donate more?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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