Charity is one of the noblest tasks that an individual can do in his/her life. We have to keep reminding ourselves “you are given this life for a purpose and please don’t wish that purpose away”.

For some people the true meaning of life is the joy of giving and for many it is the other way round. Some realize this dream of theirs by engaging in acts of charity; while others look the other side and even insulate themselves from the possible influence from those who enjoy giving.

A person with inbuilt charity consciousness never miss the ones in distress around him or for that matter even those far off from him. He is very sensitive to the feelings of others and for this reason he reaches out in whatever ways and means available to the individual. The very sight of pain or misery troubles these individuals and they keep trying their level best to do away with misery. These people get deeply moved at the sight of victims of natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes etc., and even way-side beggars.

Today, the world is in greater need of charity than ever before. The gap between the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor is widening. While on one hand, we have the billionaire businessmen, sport stars and movie stars who never want to part with even part of their riches for a cause (other than such events that bring them applause and popularity) on the other side we have millions of diseased and starving men, women and children dying for a milli fraction of those riches that would keep them alive. If all the rich people and even people who are reasonably well off contribute something in terms of money, food, clothes or even empathy, then this world definitely would have been a better place to live.

There is no denying the fact that a few from the rich have always contributed towards the upliftment of the poor. Many big corporations, charitable trusts and societies make good contributions in areas of poverty-alleviation, food supply, education and health. In this dog-eating-dog world too, there lives some people like Azim premjis, TATAs, Bill Gates, Warrens who have of late announced a huge share of their wealth for charity. But the question is “whether these select few can wipe all those tears that soak this earth?. These great hearts also called upon fellow billionaires all over the world to emulate them. As a bystander, I didn’t see or hear from others from the league on this call from their front-runners.

But tell me, does it need a billionaire only who can show charity. Not at all, as I have seen many salaried class people who strive to meet both ends meet; but still doing their bit. That is when one sit and think that ‘Charity’ is just a mindset and not about having or not having. Every person can do his own bit, and it would make some difference to another needy person’s life.

And the best parents can inculcate in their kids are “Charity”. Every time they waste food, you can innocently ask them look on the street through your window to show those kids who don’t even half square meal. Every time they throw away clothes for silly reasons, the same thing can be repeated and I am sure this will have a huge impact in the adolescent minds. Charity should start from there and then only they will graduate into good Samaritans.

Then, acts of charity are neither for trumpeting nor with an eye on what benefit it brings to the giver on a later date. It should be done from the heart and not for publicity or other commercial advantages. That’s why elders always say that “the best form of charity is the one in which the identity of the donor remains hidden”.

Madhu K. Nair [24-05-2015]


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