Charity begins at home. That’s what we learnt at school. We do charity for our conscience’s sake or to pose as good people. Or to make sure we go to heaven (if you guys believe in that). Or just to show off we are generous and kind. Whatever be it, I’m not gonna discuss here whether we are good people or bad people. Facing the facts, I thought to pen on something I see often here around my place in south India.
Charity done for the sake of charity is not a charity at all. Questioning the reason for poverty, everyone says that the government is corrupted and that’s why there is poverty (Or may be because they assume poor love to stay poor ) Ah! It is so easy to judge the poor and manipulate the business of charity. You may think it’s over when the money is offered because money is the elemental source in the process of charity. But what we gain when we give to the destitute?
Happiness. Really? You feel happy when giving things to others? Is the happiness all about money?
Love. Honestly? You love giving donations every day? Or you give because you love the poor?
Kindness. Sure? You do show kindness to people inside your community or outside your community?
I feel happy to help the needy and when I give alms to beggars I do feel blessed. Assuming that I have done an absolute religious act and God will bless me for that (Trading charity for God’s blessing?) This is how most of us think. But I am not happy when someone posing as fake beggar comes for alms. Someone who is faking the process of charity and they almost curse you if ignored.
While waiting for bus, you may notice little children and many old people (sometimes middle-aged too) approaching you for money (as some of them are trained to do so). And you help them with whatever you have in your wallet and then their numbers don’t stop and you are out of change to offer alms. I got into such situations when I kept giving coins to the beggars who approached me until I had no change left, to purchase my bus ticket. And when travelling in an Indian bus (I am talking about Tamilnadu buses in the suburb here), you should always have the ticket price in change. If you fail to have the exact change for the bus ticket and hand over a 100 rupee or a 500 note to the bus conductor, you might have to wait in agony to get the balance money back from him. And he might forget to give you the balance or pretends to forget (Lo! You lose your money there too).
All those curses, all those lose you encounter, yet you don’t stop giving to others. When the face of the needy approaches, your hand involuntarily gives and helps. You feel softer inside; lighter inside. Charity is that one act of random kindness which may thrill the giver and the receiver. Both are equally blessed. Then why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer? The rich do donate a part of their riches to the poor. But the gap is not abridged.
Charity is an act of “Deferred Love”. Love unexpressed at the right moment to the right person piles up in the corner of your heart and is expressed at a delayed moment to another person. Charity is not just the kindness you show to the deprived by giving money but it’s the second chance to express the love you once missed to show it your friend or a beloved one. Charity is not about donations and clothes alone. It is an act of random kindness; an act of deferred love.