Ever spent an entire week without basic amenities, having to eat one meal per day and spending meager allowances whilst not being able to buy anything you want and affording only a fraction of what you need? Ever had to starve for a couple of days or fed on leftovers? Ever fallen sick repeatedly from starvation and high levels of stress? Ever had to struggle to find a place to rest your head just for one night? Ever lived on the streets riddled with debris and trash combined with the stench of urine or poop or both? Ever lived in one room sharing a bed space with your entire family? Ever had to strive for clothes to cover your nakedness or a blanket to shelter you from the cold? Ever had to beg for shoes to cover your feet to prevent the constant bruises from sharp stones or sticks or nails or broken bottles? Ever had to work five menial jobs a day to make ends meet? Ever had to walk long distances extremely worn out because you could not afford a bus fare? If you know how it feels to have nothing, giving would be paramount. You do not even need to know what it feels like to have nothing; you just need to develop empathic intelligence meaning to put yourself in their shoes. Maybe then, you can fathom their experiences; comprehend what they have to withstand on a daily basis.
“There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up”- Bernard Meltzer. It is a moral imperative to give back. It is important to lend a helping hand to someone in need. Do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward the poor and the weak. God said not to withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it. Give generously from your heart not reluctantly or under compulsion but out of love and pure joy. Give sacrificially. Give because you know they need it more than you do. Give even if you need it more than they do. Give no matter what little you have to offer. Give not because you have excess but to lift someone out of their burden. Give to elevate someone from a bad situation. Light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Give without expecting anything in return. Give relentlessly. Give painfully until it hurts. Give for the benefit of others. Give because you might be the only one helping that person. Invest in the welfare of people. Provide for the needy. It is said that deeds of giving are the very foundations of the world.
Giving does not necessarily have to be something with monetary value. Giving could be as simple as a kind gesture. A smile. A hug. A kind word. Wiping someone’s tear. Encouragement. Time. Compassion. Loving someone. Hope. Prayer. Something as simple as a prayer could offer an ailing person hope and healing. Something as simple as a smile could brighten a person’s whole day. An ordinary hug may be all a person needs to relieve them of so much pent up pain. Offering a listening ear may be the solution to someone’s problems. A simple ‘you can do it’ could be the beginning of someone’s success story. A bit of your heart is all that is required.
One of the biggest mistakes I think a lot of people make is giving for the sole purpose of recognition. Some people give to others and let the world know for the sole purpose of receiving praises and acknowledgement. Some give to be defined as good and generous people not because they truly feel the need to. Some people give to show off. We need to understand that giving is not for the exclusive advantage of making one feel righteous or better about themselves or letting people see you in a good light but rather for the betterment of the receiver. Give for the right reasons only. When you give, there is no need to announce it with trumpets. There is no need to make loud noises so that others can see your good deeds. Give in silence. There are exceptions to this theory whereby it becomes paramount to speak about your deeds in order to implore others to carry on the act and equally help.
To be truly rich, you need to give more than you take. According to Maya Angelou, it is found that giving liberates the soul of the giver among its other benefits. You are able to receive more than you already have if you give. God said he who gives to the poor will never want. There is fulfillment and prosperity in giving. Give because you are uplifting others by doing so. Give because you are saving a soul. Give to fill someone’s life with love and compassion. Give because no one has ever become poor from giving. Give to take someone out of the street today. To truly change the world, it takes one act of random kindness at a time.
“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless and indeed as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”- John Wesley