The Giving and Getting
Both Parties Benefit

I have written many articles about living in two worlds: America and Myanmar. A huge part of the two worlds is my family in Myanmar. While we chat weekly on Facebook’s Messenger, it is not the same as being with them. I took loads of photos of them on my three trips to their country. On my last trip during winter break, we went on a family tour together. It was a wonderful adventure before I returned to America to teach.

In both of my worlds, all was happy and good. My family and I were already planning another family caravan starting in Yangon. Then we would go to the Golden Rock, Myeik Archipelago, the Great Pagoda, etc. However, on my birthday, January 20th, the first COVID-19 case was discovered in the States. We have more than 8 million confirmed cases and nearly a quarter million deaths. Regardless, Trumps claims that it will go away like a miracle.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) latest model for COVID-19 deaths is 410,000 by the end of the year. If that sound tragically morbid, they also predict that 620,000 will be the number of deaths if most Americans ease up on the CDC guidelines, and we resort to “herd immunity.”

Tell that to all the Americans that have suffered and died because of Trump’s lack of leadership. For most Americans, Trump’s miracle is a deadly nightmare…that will last for at least several years. I know; Trump is working on a plan to address COVID-19.

In both my worlds, the coronavirus has caused chaos both economically and emotionally. Many of the hopes and dreams have been put on hold. I don’t know when either of my worlds will get back to normal.

In the meantime, we need to adjust to the new world order. One of the concepts that works for me is based upon a saying that I invented: It is giving that we get. I knew that sounded vaguely familiar. So, I googled my saying and discovered that St. Francis had a similar concept, “For it is in giving that we receive.”

However, while googling, I also discovered William Shakespeare’s version, “One of the finest comforts that life offers us is that you cannot sincerely help others without helping yourself.”

Therefore, I have two highly regarded individuals who backup my belief. While the three of us are convinced that our shared concepts are correct, our assertion seems like an oxymoron. It sounds like a contradiction. Nevertheless, St. Francis, Shakespeare, and I grasp that seeming contradiction. It is true. If you believe anything that I say or write, believe that it is in giving that we get. It will change your Weltanschauung. Trust me.

A couple days ago, I received from Kaung. Moh Moh and Ko Ko suggested him to do my webpage and Facebook. While we email each other several times daily, I got the following email from him…and it was not about my website.

Dear Al,

By the way, i was so happy yesterday as i could contribute the three of rice packs to the Two Monestries (Nyaung Oo monastery and Aung Theikdi Maharmyaing Monastery ).

I earned the money by advertising Facebook Marketing Course to public in Myanmar and let them make a registration and settle the training fee depending on how much they can effort to give the fee.

After that i collected all funds and bought 3 rice packs for the monasteries.

Because the monks also get in hardship during this crisis as they stop requesting for their daily meals .

I am willing to help others as much as i can even i am struggling for my family.

See below photos.


These are Kaung’s photos.

Aung Theidi Maharmyaing Monastery

Kyaw Min Oo, Myo Min Pai, the Buddhist monk, and Kaung

The Nyaung Oo Monastery also got a large bag of rice.

Kaung’s email begins with this comment,“I was so happy yesterday as I could contribute the three of rice packs to the two monasteries (Naung OO monastery and Aung Theikdi Maharmyaing monastery).” Kaung was happy to give. As a result of his giving, he also received. Then he added, “Because the monks also get in hardship during this crisis as they stop requesting for their daily meals. I am willing to help others as much as i can even i am struggling for my family.”

I will add Kaung to St. Francis and Shakespeare to those who have seen the light. The following are photos of his family.