The Highest Level of Charity
The best way to give charity is not to make the receiver feel belittled in any way. A self-respecting person can feel humiliated when receiving handouts. The idea is to help a person overcome their problem so that they do not have to be supported for long.
A plant can never grow in the shadow of a big tree. Your help should be to make the receiver stand in the sunlight of success. They should never feel beholden to you for help.
There are eight levels of charity…. The highest is when you strengthen a man’s hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others. —Maimonides
The aim of charity should help a person become strong so that they become capable and no longer dependent on others. Help should be given without destroying their self-respect.
Educate a Child
Monetary help given without proper advice or support is never long-lasting. For example, one of the most popular charities is paying for educational support of underprivileged children in third world countries. This is because education changes lives and is the biggest leverage to success.
Educating a girl child is even more effective because it changes not only one person but affects the lives of an entire family. However, giving money for child education support is not effective without involving the parents, community and environment around the child.
Andrew Carnegie Advise
Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men of all time (1835 – 1919), gave away 90% of his fortune – around $350 million – to charities, foundations, and universities. He did not recommend wealth to be distributed in small quantities as it resulted in waste. Carnegie suggested supporting larger projects such libraries, schools and foundations which he felt brought greater good to humanity.
Carnegie also strongly recommended the rich to live modestly, provide moderately to dependents and use surplus wealth in ways that bring good to the community. He spent the last eighteen years of his life devoted to administering charities.
Research Quality of Project
Whenever you , you must thoroughly research the project; there are many charitable projects that are a total waste of your money. In some cases, the administration costs of a project are so high that very little benefit reaches the beneficiary. The charitable organization becomes an end in itself. There are also fraudsters who are only in it to make gain for them.
The best way to give your money is to become involved in the charity of your choice so that you can make a difference. In case you do not have the time, at least make the effort of analyzing the charity and getting feedback from reliable sources before donating money. Giving money away is not as easy as it looks – it takes knowledge, time and effort.
Sphere of Influence
One way is to be sensitive to people and the environment around us. You will be able to find people who need your help. We can’t change the whole world but we can definitely influence a few lives within our sphere of influence.
“Wealth is your servant, and you are a servant to your wealth. Money is little more than a tool that comes with a responsibility to use it wisely.”
The charity also means taking responsibility for the wealth we create. It should be created without exploiting people and by giving them a fair wage for their work. It also involves taking care of schooling of children of the staff we employ, providing them with housing and health insurance.
Also, in the process of creating wealth, we should not cause damage to the environment, which is the immediate sphere of influence. It is charity if we are sensitive to the environment around us and take care of our sphere of influence.