The Ways of Charity

With a fine-tooth comb, I have been trying to find the meaning of charity for myself.  That’s only half the story.  I received an automated message from my inner voice, asking me: Which is the cause you are going to back?  How long will you pursue the same cause?  Will you adopt one or two or three programmes of needs?  For many years, almost a lifetime, a faint awareness was always nagging me, but I hardly knew my direction.  For instance, I was aware of the social misery of people and how it is for both the young and the old to be in the clutches of unscrupulous systems or their respective circumstances.  Each of us listen to such descriptions intently.  But, then what happens?  It’s like going to a funeral and literally experiencing the stifling energy of death.  The idea of death drops as a bomb.  You are stunned to see the coffin.  You are stunned to see in the lit pyre, the corpse being devoured by the crackling flames and once you are out of the funeral grounds, you are not in favour of realizing that the only certainty in life is death.  The fall of a body, the loss of a beloved retains meaning without a long-term commitment.  The signs of the most precious memories fade away, too.  No brawl.  No argument.  You just tell yourself: Well, this is life.  And you move on.  Not committed or decided – the majority of us treat charity with the same passing relevance. 


With an unrestricted movement of the mind, I certainly retained the meaning of charity as something that could: wait.  Something that could be postponed.  The power attributed to convince me was: ‘Hold on! Usually, bulk of the funds land up in places where highway robbers are lurking to grab your donation.’  True.  Untrue.  Free-loaders can never be freed from greed, and they freely find places where they can practice their unethical business.  Society cannot be rid of them.  But that does not stop the world from flourishing in good manners.  Likewise, I needed to behave in a proper manner.  I needed to eliminate the mental barrier seizing me in its net of postponements.  I had to tell myself that ‘tomorrow’ should be kept off from casting its vote.  Shubh kaam mein deri nahin karney chahiye – never delay a good piece of work.  We know how well this saying generally supplies!  At long last, it was working for me; I began loosening my step to move in selecting a purposeful cause.  One good step led to another good step… big or small did not matter.  What mattered was that I had taken a step forward.


I know that I have been ignorant and late.  But, better late than never!  More than ever, I realize with a greater conviction that charity means to help others in “ANY” form.  More than ever, I am convinced that those who help the helpless are specially chosen by God Almighty. 


What a huge privilege to be specially chosen by God Almighty


  • To feed a hungry, helpless person is a form of charity. 
  • To quench the thirst of a thirsty person is charity. 
  • To support an orphan with trust and affection is charity.
  • To clothe the naked is charity. 
  • To guide the ignorant is charity. 
  • To give company to lonely people is charity. 
  • To comfort the troubled is charity. 
  • To shelter the homeless is charity. 
  • To admonish and guide a sinner is charity.
  • To counsel a doubtful, confused person is charity. 
  • To visit the sick and console them is charity.
  • To read to the blind is charity.
  • To educate a deserving child is charity.


When we are promoting the true meaning of God and observing the correct practices – it is a form of charity.  When we set aside the small coins that gather every month in our drawer: for giving away to bring a smile on someone needy – it is a form of charity.  When we give our ‘time’, our personal involvement to a cause, or an individual seeking help – it is more meritorious than making out a cheque.  So, you see, certain kinds of charities can be created without waiting to become Bill Gates or Warren Buffet!


Geeta Chhabra


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