Life is not what you accumulate‎, it is about what you contribute

In modern times, our mundane worries and concerns keep us so occupied that it becomes almost impossible for us to concentrate on things that actually demand at least some part of our attention. We are more than busy in hoarding stuff (both necessary and surplus) to an unexplainable extent; hence, when it comes to making substantial contribution to benefit the needy souls or people around us, we just do not have time for it.


People think that success is the sole prerogative of those who earn more, accumulate more and get hold of more stuff; however, we fail to understand the importance of contribution and hence, never make any serious efforts on our part to ensure that some part of it goes to those who need it.

Nonetheless, toward the end of life, we realize that our accumulations do not matter anymore; instead, our contributions keep us alive in the memories of those who admire and love us. You would have heard or read about countless people who accumulated more wealth than they actually needed, but they don’t find even the slightest mention in the remotest of our memories. On the other hand, those who contributed meaningfully have their memories etched on the souls and psyches of people.

Swami Vivekananda

Your contribution is what differentiates you from the rest; it is something that makes great people stand out from the crowd. Swami Vivekananda left his home to satiate his quest for divine when he was just a child. He strived hard to enlighten his soul and later, he dedicated his life to ignorant souls who wanted to come out of ignorance. His preaching, impressive speeches and wisdom are his invaluable contribution to the society. Next, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were one of those world personalities who considered the cause of freeing their motherland from colonization as their only aim in life.

Well, it would be gross injustice to blame people for this attitude since it is nothing new. We have been such since the origin of our species, which, in a way, explains that our mentality and our penchant to amass things around has not diminished. Ever since our ancestors did not even learn to colonize or socialize, they have been following this practice of collecting different things and keeping them even if they never needed them. Gradually, when they learned and started making their abodes, their desire to grab and snatch the basic necessities of life and superfluous stuff remained as such.


Centuries later, we are same as we were when we became aware of our race and existence. In fact, the gravity of this practice is now touching newer horizons and going beyond what a sensible soul can comprehend. This tendency to accumulate is responsible for economic instability and imbalance; hence, the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.

We never empathize with people belonging to downtrodden class since we cannot get anything from them. In doing so, we never take time out of our busy schedules to dwell on reasons that have caused their downfall. Instead, we make super-rich people our role models without even knowing anything about their contributions – substantial I mean. If not all, most of them have accumulated wealth and riches all their lives.

contribution is the thing

Again, accumulation or contribution is a very personal decision based on our ethics and morality. While some would prefer to split the difference by amassing things that they actually need and contributing the superfluous stuff, others find solace and satisfaction in piling up as much as they can. Over accumulation gives rise to corruption, black-marketing and other such vices. On the other hand, people who manage to find the middle ground make lives easier for the unprivileged class.

In our personal lives, if we keep forsaking the interest of our near and dear ones, we are bound to create unfathomable distances, which would only create differences. Those who consider it wise to ditch their loved ones are ditching their conscience and souls. In doing so, they seldom think that a little contribution on their part could help the whole family or a clan to prosper. Contrarily, those who prefer sharing rather than accumulating successfully create positive vibes and an appreciable aura around their personality.

man about to take decision

Life is all about decisions we make and myriad ways we want others to remember us after we depart. After all, what you contribute makes people remember and appreciate you; contrariwise, since everything you accumulate belongs only to you, your family member or others around you will not have any good reason to remember you when you breathe your last.

Then again, since not all of us can be ascetics because of our difference in opinions and preferences, it would be perfectly sensible for anyone to draw the lines between stockpiling and sharing. Amass what is necessary and basic – now one needs to define for himself what “basic” actually is – for us and the things that we can do without and can pass on to someone who needs them more than we do. If we do so, we can ensure that our contributions will stay forever or at least for some time after we depart. Accumulation fades while your contribution has the ability to make the world a better place to sustain our existence and lives.