Once there was a sponsor from Australia who was sponsoring a girl and when she came to the Ashram she brought a gift for her. It was a pair of golden earrings. I stopped her from giving it to the child and said ‘Sorry, I cannot allow you to give this to the girl because for me all other children are also the same. Why does only one girl get a gift? Maybe you can give a gift to each child, then it is okay, but if you give it to one only, what will the rest of the children think? This will hurt their soft hearts. When we give gifts, we buy something for everybody and then we give it to all of them. And if you want we can go and buy something for everybody. That will be the best.’
She also understood my feelings and respected them. She said ‘You are right. I did not think in this way.’ If anybody asks if they can bring or send gifts for their sponsored children, we respect their feelings but have to say no because we do not want to make a difference in between the children. It is wonderful if you want to give something and you give it to everyone. In this way the love and compassion of a sponsor and someone who wants to help and support will flow naturally towards children and God, without any ego or possessiveness which could be fixed on one child. And of course someone only takes a sponsorship because they love the children of this world and want to help.