Sunday, 10 July 2011

Generosity does not have a budget

"Ask and you shall receive"

It’s a favourite saying: “when I have enough money I’ll give more to charity” until then I’ll just walk past that homeless person begging in the street, the “Big Issue” seller, the person rattling a tin at me and the charity canvasser.
When it comes to avoidance tactics and excuses we are masters of them.

I usually try and give whatever small change I have. I especially make it a point to buy a  copy of the Big Issue. It’s important to support the work of bona fide charities since it took the courage of a few kind souls to start up such ventures.

When our hearts and minds are open we acknowledge the pain of lack in others. Closing our minds and acting indifferent is a protective mechanism that ultimately diminishes us as human beings.

Emotional involvement in another’s hardship is no easy ride. Often it’s poor parenting and a poor education that creates the greatest havoc and leads to the dismantling of a life. Once a life is in shreds then the mind can become unhinged.

Money alone is not the answer
The pain of poverty is all too real.
A homeless person sitting in a doorway is a stark reminder of how fragile our existence is. Take away our source of income or health there’s no telling where we may end up and in what state. If not for generosity in times of crisis a cardboard box would be a permanent home for some.

Developed countries are committed to alleviating poverty. It’s quite another story in the developing world which I shall discuss in another blog.
Hunger and homelessness are blots on the spiritual landscape. Sometimes it takes more than money and government policy to cure the ills of society. What is required is a drastic change in heart and mind.

Many people give to charity. I am one of those who makes regular payments from my bank account. I like to think of myself as charitable though that doesn’t necessarily make me generous. The feeling of generosity comes when I give ( time or money) to good causes in times of difficulty.

It is easy to give when you’re well off. It’s more challenging when you are going through a lean phase. When my budget is tight I find it hard to walk past without giving anything. It makes me feel mean-spirited and unworthy of the wealth I already have. I want to feel the joy of abundance not the pain of want. I prefer the latter and so giving to charity and people in need keeps me connected to my spirit and to God.

I believe that it’s what you give when the chips are down that matter. The important thing is to give with positive energy and the receiver also gains more than his next meal. When we look around at all that we have we know we’ve been blessed and blessings are to be shared.

A smile is of benefit too
So the next time you open your purse, remember also to open your heart.



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