Charity – Its Meaning and Importance
Like a tree that provides shelter to the weary souls, irrespective of whether he be saint or sinner, so must we give respite to all who come to us for help. It is our responsibility to be a source of comfort to all who are living in the throes of hunger and strife.
Every soul that comes to Earth needs the basic necessities of life to get along comfortably in life. If the body is cared for and maintains good health, it becomes easier for the soul to accomplish its task on Earth. Therefore, to grudge someone the basic comforts of life is downright cruel and malicious. Regardless of who or what he or she may be, everyone deserves kindness. It is not for us to judge whether a person is worthy of your love or not. We do not hold the portfolio of any soul. Therefore, it is not for us to judge people based on their outer appearances. Ours is to help in whatever way we can to ease the pain of our brethren.
Charity is an inside job, executed in the name of unconditional kindness where you put the needs and comforts of the less-fortunate above those of your own, for the sole purpose of bringing the light of hope and peace into their dark lives of paucity and lack. While some do charity for personal gain, others do it for fame and glory. Though exorbitant amounts of money are expended in such projects, without the essence of selfless love, it remains just that – a project, and not charity. Charity is not a platform where you exhibit your money and power to impress the outer world.
Serve your fellowmen in all humility and silence. You are only an agent of the Higher Force that is working through you. Selflessness and humility are the main criteria for charity. Selfless service places you in the gracious flow of “give and take”, whereby it loosens your vicious grip on your worldly attachments, neutralizing your obsessions with materialism, and setting you free from all entrapments of the forces of materialism. Selfless service is the highest form of worship to the Almighty. When you choose to live as the extended Arm of God you automatically become the blessed beneficiary of the Universal Abundance.
Rich and wholesome is he, whose heart pulsates with the joy and generosity of altruism. Selfless acts of philanthropy rule out all excuses to serve your fellowmen. You need not be rich in order to help someone. All you need is a heart full of compassion and love, and you will naturally find ways and means to bring comfort to the bereaved.
Besides the basic necessities of life, the destitute are athirst of love and respect. They value self-respect above all. Your service is of no use to them if you let them know in all arrogance that you are doing them a favor, and you expect gratitude in return. Such acts, which sadden the heart and bring a tear in the eye are offensive and cruel, and you would do better to just keep out of being helpful to people.
Moreover, do not be disheartened when your kindliness is not acknowledged by words of gratitude. You are serving the soul and not the body. Therefore, though the lips remain silent, the eyes say it all, for the soul expresses its appreciation through the sparkle in the eyes. And, when you behold the joy in the eyes of your recipient, your goodness is justified.
In reality, it is you who should be thankful to the indigent for giving you the opportunity to exercise unconditional-love. Acts of benevolence are weighed by the amount of love put into it, and not by the amount of money you expend. If it has anything to do with how much you stand to benefit monetarily in serving others, then, the act is de-spiritualized and goes null and void by the Cosmic Account.