The Charitable Spirit - Kindness - Generosity - Charity (Perspectives)
The idea behind this series called Perspectives is explained in a hub published by MickeySr:
- Perspectives: An Introduction
What we think and how we feel about things is defined, not by the things themselves, but by our perspective of things. Everything that comes before us is filtered through our perception of things...
The Charity Spirit
The backbone of a Charitable Spirit is ‘kindness’;
The rest of a Charitable Spirit is ‘generosity’.
Let’s not forget that ‘kindness’ and ‘generosity’ are subordinates of LOVE.
To justify above statement
Let’s consider the meanings of kindness, generosity and charity.
- Kindness is the quality of being warmhearted, considerate, humane and sympathetic.
- Generosity is the unselfish trait of being willing to give your money, goods or time to others.
- Charity is a kindly and lenient attitude toward people and an activity that benefits the public at large.
A synonym for charity is Philanthropy: The voluntary promotion of human welfare.
I can see no true charitable spirit that does not comprise kindness and generosity.
The word ‘charity’
The word ‘charity’ originated in the Hebrew word, Tzedakah (S’daqah) meaning righteousness, justice or fairness. In biblical times Tzedakah was a religious obligation, and still regarded as such in religious communities. Kind and generous people, however, practice Tzedakah instinctively.
Two kinds of people depend on charity:
- Honest people with integrity in unfortunate circumstances;
- Dishonest, disreputable, lazy people acting as amateur and professional beggars.
Recognize the difference:
- Honest people with integrity in unfortunate circumstances feel uncomfortable and ashamed in their needy position. They are willing to work and pay for what they receive by performing tasks or doing favors or anything that might prove gratefulness for what they receive. They easily become the victims of shrewd entrepreneurs and abusers of people. They are not pathetic, but proud, law-abiding citizens of their countries. They will try to give the best impression possible, even while dressed in sackcloth, and they will grab any opportunity to get themselves in more fortunate circumstances.
- Dishonest, disreputable, lazy people acting as amateur and professional beggars are repelling, arousing aversion and disgust and a feeling of guilt. They are the shrewd exploiters of human kindness and generosity. They are not willing to work and fake gratefulness in order to manipulate others to their advantage. When forced to perform a task their performance will arouse disappointment and even anger. Trying to make a pathetic impression, they dig for empathy and sympathy in the souls of kind and generous people. They encourage and even force their own children to become beggars or victims of abusers.
- Is Charity supposed to help people out of their unfortunate circumstances, or to encourage them to stay in it?
- May we ignore the dishonest, disreputable, lazy people acting as amateur and professional beggars and only help the honest people with integrity in unfortunate circumstances?
- Are we practicing charity without any intention of kindness and generosity, but with a cold heart hoping to receive something we need such as respect and admiration, space for new, more modern stuff in our closets and homes, to get rid of feelings of guilt, or to prevent the poor from stealing our precious belongings?
Some of the beggars in South Africa - In some regions quite a nuisance, causing severe accidents. And still, people keep on feeding them, bereaving them of their natural hunting skills....
I put myself so many times figuratively in the shoes of poor people. What would I do when my children and I are hungry and I have no money for food? Surely I would have only three options: Stealing, begging or ending our lives.
We know that the man who is not hungry is like a sated lion not interested in the potential food grazing in his territory. We know that nobody is as dangerous as the one who has nothing to lose.
Eight levels of giving to the poor
The rabbi-physician-philosopher, Mosheh ben Maimon (Moses Maimonides), who lived from 1135 to 1204 in Morocco and Egypt, taught eight levels of giving to the poor.
1. Giving an interest-free loan to a person in need; forming a partnership with a person in need; giving a grant to a person in need; finding a job for a person in need; so long as that loan, grant, partnership, or job results in the person no longer living by relying upon others.
2. Giving tzedakah (charity) anonymously to an unknown recipient via a person (or public fund) which is trustworthy, wise, and can perform acts of tzedakah with your money in a most impeccable fashion.
3. Giving tzedakah anonymously to a known recipient.
4. Giving tzedakah publicly to an unknown recipient.
5. Giving tzedakah before being asked.
6. Giving adequately after being asked.
7. Giving willingly, but inadequately.
8. Giving out of pity: It is thought that Maimonides was referring to giving because of the sad feelings one might have in seeing people in need (as opposed to giving because it is a religious obligation).
I recommend reading this interesting perceptive on charity at (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maimonides)
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Title :: Perspectives: The Charitable Spirit: Kindness, Gen
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Perspectives on HubPages
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- Perspectives: An Introduction
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