Saturday, September 11, 2010

Think of Others Thinking of Others

Having a charitable spirit means more than just giving monetary handouts. People can give whatever they have. Someone who has little money might give their time. Someone else might give their art. Ultimately, charity is not about handing over anything material free of charge. It is an attitude that desires to enrich another person's life, and a genuine action that comes out of that.

A wealthy person can give money to a charity, but actually be engaged in a transaction of purchasing good PR. Otherwise, he might perform the action anonymously, whereby getting nothing but satisfaction in return. Even so, it is still possible for him to be known for his charity, and yet for his actions to be of a genuine nature.

Another person can have a charitable spirit, despite being in debt and poverty. That person would manifest his charity in doing whatever little things he could for others. These actions are as simple and mundane as holding open a shop door to as taxing as volunteering in a soup kitchen. This person's willingness to help makes him easier to be charitable toward.

A third might volunteer his art. As I've said in past posts, art is anything done with a human touch, and nothing is more touching than genuine charity. This art has a spirit unto itself, and imparts that essence to those who receive it. To make great art, one must develop his skills and thoughts. To give great art, one must develop his character. Powerful creations spread their virtues like fallout.

The high aim of charity is to do more than fill a hole in someone's stomach or pocket—though these are often necessary stepping stones. The aim is help others in such a way as to compel them to "pay it forward." In essence, charity may ought to be thought of as contingent on the recipient's pre-existing thankful nature. To give to a person who feels entitled to it, is to merely fill a bottomless pit.

To put it another way: when we think of others, let us consider how they think of others. To be a good steward of resources or a greedy miser has nothing to do with economic standing.
FEATURED MEDIA: Pay it Forward - When his teacher challenges the class to come up with an idea that could change the world for the better, Trevor McKinney draws up a plan by which a person who receives a good deed "pays it forward" by doing good deeds for three other people, and so on.

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