Charity is not about what you gain, but what you can give

“When you say “I” and “my” too much, you lose the capacity to understand the “we” and “our”.”  Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

I think perhaps the greatest shortfall of mankind is its inability to look beyond themselves with any kind of real charity. So often you hear people saying things like “my” problems and “my” needs as though they were the only people living in society.

One’s ego can easily convince us that our lives, our complaints and our problems are unique – that no other human being walking the Earth could possibly understand or relate to what we’re feeling or going through. We then turn that internal understanding into an excuse – “I” am simply too busy to do this or that; you have no idea what “my” day is like.

Benjamin Franklin once remarked: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

American’s are strange – we don’t want to do anything for others unless there’s something in it for ourselves. If “I” do this for you, then what will you do for “me”? That’s not charity, that selfishness.

And while no one is saying that being charitable is always easy, ask yourself, have you really been there for the important people in your life when they needed you most? Have you done things for others that might be difficult and uncomfortable, rather than simply making excuses as to why you can’t?

Have you afforded those around you – unconditionally – your time, your compassion and your support without them having to ask?

Carl Jung once said that, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

So what are your actions saying about you?