When it comes to charity and the art of giving, many people think they know the underlying meaning behind the meritorious action. Ask any friend or relative, and most of them will tell you, “Ah, I know charity and I do it many times – giving money to beggars, to temples, to charity organizations. I’ve been practising the art of giving all along, I’m doing good!”.
Little did they realize, the art of giving is not as simple as the act of giving money to people in need per se. There’s more to this profound action in life, and we will explore this interesting yet highly relatable topic in detail.
What Is The Art of Giving?
The Art of Giving is the constant practice of performing charity. Performing charity could be in the form of cash or kind – simply, in terms of giving donations of money or services such as giving free tuition to kids, providing a lift for those without transportation, or cleaning services for temples or needy associations. Other in-kind donations could be in the form of goods, for instance, providing free refrigerators, fans or even air conditioner installations, to name a few.
Without knowing the true effect of giving or performing donations, the Art of Giving is inherently the Art of Receiving. What this means is that, whenever we give any donation of money, goods or services, we will indirectly accrue the Power of Receiving.
Unfortunately, this equation of “Art of Giving = positive effect of Receiving” is not easily witnessed or seen whenever we give due to the main cause of Timing. But this doesn’t mean the Power of Receiving is non-existent – it takes time for the positive results to manifest, in many ways and possibly, different ways unimaginable to you.
The 3 Criteria to Procure The Positive Effects from the Art of Giving
Remember that in any occurrence or incidence to happen, we must have the three criteria:
- Right Timing
- Right Situation
- Right Condition
Without these three favorable features, then nothing of any positive effects from your act of charity will happen.
Oftentimes, whenever we hear about the wonderful news of someone who has struck a lottery, we just wonder how lucky is this man to be so fortunate enough to win a handsome prize, when in actual fact, this fortunate man has been doing a lot of charity work both in his previous and present life without anyone noticing him doing so in the process.
The golden rule in everything is that, Nothing comes from Nothing. There has to be Something in order to get more things.
Take for example, we cannot create a cake by mere wishful thinking but we can only have a cake by getting enough pastry ingredients to bake a cake, or buy one home. Likewise, we cannot simply have any lucky star when we have not done or laid any good foundations in practicing constant charity of giving money, kind or services to the needy or homeless people.
The Common Tendency to Give Up Doing Charity
Many a time, a lot of people practice charity for a while and then stop completely due to the apparent reason that many could not witness the good effect of practicing charity. There is no visible sign of positive development, windfall or good tidings coming into our life despite practicing proper charity for years.
In fact, this is due to the timing effect is not there.
You may be interested in: The Essence of Time
Let us depict more clearly on the lack of good timing with regards to harvesting a durian fruit. If we ever go to a durian plantation, we will be told durians cannot be plucked and eaten as we wish, unless the fruits mature and naturally fall off from the tree onto the ground.
Likewise, this so-called effect of windfall cannot be manifested upon anyone simply because he has done a lot of charity but the positive results require enough time to mature, with the extra requirements of right place and correct condition to achieve the harvest.
Because of the lack of understanding of the intricacies of the Art of Giving, many could not practice enough charity to witness the harvesting effect of giving and instead, end up becoming a miser instead when it comes to imparting any money for donations. It is not right to stop being generous just because we have yet to witness any positive maturing effect of giving, which is not easy to be seen anyway in the first place.
The Correct Way to Do Charity or The Art of Giving
Apart from fulfilling the three criteria as mentioned above, we need to know the correct ways of performing charity or the Art of Giving too, before we could achieve any reciprocation from our joy of giving.
Avoid Seeking Recognition or Acknowledgement
Many people perform the Art of Giving without knowing or realizing it is improper to ask for receipts of any donations given, as this nullifies the good effect of giving without expectations. This is one of the most common mistakes made by many donors.
When we ask for a receipt for every donation made, it means that we seek recognition or acknowledgement of our donations, which is bad in practice. The worst of all is publicising or advertising our donations to the public to know how much we have donated towards charitable causes – all these unbeneficial actions will negate the good effects of giving, only for us to end up wondering why we haven’t managed to reap the benefits of charity despite doing so many charitable actions.
We should learn to give anything selflessly and remain humble in our actions. This way, we will gradually accumulate a lot of good merits and eventually invite rays of good luck and fortune to shine upon ourselves.
Do Charity With Sincerity
Another effective way of practicing charity is the ability to perform any donation with sincerity and not due to peer influences, trends or blind beliefs. Many donors could not hide their motive of gaining good tidings, which is clearly reflected in their impatience while waiting for the benefits of the Art of Giving.
When doing any charitable actions, one must ensure one is true to his feeling of giving an honest donation together with the right understanding that such good action could help to reduce the misfortunate sufferings of others, instead of focusing on their thoughts and motives on reaping good effects from the donation. Many people fail to understand that the true power of the Art of Giving also comes from their sincerity in performing the charity in addition to doing charity the proper way and having fulfilled the three conditions to harness the potent benefits of the meritorious action.
Feel The Joy of Giving
Lastly, the true effect of good returns from the Art of Giving can only be gained when one feels positive from performing the donation at the end. One should feel light and easy, and most of all, have a sense of satisfying joy in undertaking this Art of Giving. Whenever one intends to perform any Art of Giving, one feels contentment, rejoiceful, and truly happy in departing some of his personal savings, income, effort or time.
This is the most important part of performing charity – to always feel the heart of contentment whenever one gives away part of his income or possession of goods for charitable causes. Coupled with the three golden criteria of the right timing, right place and right condition being observed, one should gain a sense of satisfaction that one has created a better atmosphere for every needy person to live in and reduced the woes of unfortunate people.
Charity is actually the act of giving with sincerity without harboring any boundary of class, creed or position or relations. Charity is one of the most important foundations in our spiritual cultivation to achieve virtues through the eventual fine act of Generosity.
No doubt, in this modern world of sophisticated and technological innovation of living, it is never an easy task to practice charity or the Art of Giving. Anyone without a strong foundation in having good exposure and profound experiences in life will often find no need or reason to practice charity.
When one has been living with a silver spoon or soft landing approach thanks to overzealous parental care, then one would never gain the idea of the need nor the desire to perform charity. Without personally experiencing hunger and starvation, one would never empathize with the need to give but only think of receiving from others at all times. After all, when our brought up is too smooth and comfortable in living, then one can never see the real importance of performing the Art of Giving, since he or she is too used to taking people and things for granted.
On the other hand, when one has constantly practiced charity throughout the years, without realizing one has actually accumulated a lot of merits. These merits are in fact a hidden source of maintaining our good wealth, good health and vibrant living. In other words, these merits are our potential rays of good luck and high tidings in our life.
Once again, charity begins at home if one truly wish to start practicing this Art of Giving, for the very basic performance of charity must start from our nearest contacts, which are our parents and siblings. If we could not even give our heart of affection towards our parents and siblings over their basic needs and care, then it becomes irrelevant to go beyond the generous actions of giving donations to the needy people and charitable institutions. In most cases, people are apathetic towards their immediate kin but tend to be very receptive towards outsiders, such as showering their circle of friends with a lot of treats and kind hospitality, which is a sad reality of living nowadays.
Hopefully, more people realize the true meaning of the Art of Giving so that as we live on, we will see a future of a more caring and generous society that does charity without hidden motives, but with the sincere wish for making the world a better place for all beings.