Charity Begins at Home, taken too literally by us?

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
~John Bunyan

source:studentdoctor.comSince we were children our parents taught us to help the poor. They taught us the most important lesson of life and that is To Give. We grew up giving the last bit of the chocolate to that poor boy standing alone in the street or choosing within our old toys and clothes, the ones we could sacrifice for someone else.

We grew up some more and we started donating sweets and presents on festivals. We started “feeling” for those who were less fortunate. This continued until we started earning and had capacity to “donate”. Then our preferences changed.

We looked for OUR “cause”, OUR “people”, OUR “place”, OUR “satisfaction”. We forgot about selfless giving, the chocolates we shared and the toys we gave away to some strangers, not knowing who could be getting them. Did we choose back then? Did we go and see who played with our toys? Or did we ask that kid if he was less fortunate in a way that we want? No, right?

Then why did we suddenly become so selfish that we chose to give to our Religion, Our Country, Our Cause and so for so many other “specific” reasons! We forgot the whole point of Giving. Is it that poor girl’s fault that she is not from your country or religion? She is simply needy, she needs your help and if you can help her then there should be no second factor that should stop you except for a few ethical reasons. In the end it’s your call.

I like these words by Thomas Fuller-

 “Charity begins at home, but should not end there.”source: Google


Of Struggles and Achievements

source: Flicker.comThe water from the river strike against her tanned face as the boat nearby sped away in a flurry at the backwaters near her house. She loves this time of the day when she is all by herself, fishing for the day’s supper. Her svelte figure has only too much to do. She is an epitome of hard work and selfless love. Her chores begin with the first rays of the sun and only end when everybody else is asleep at home, of course a tattered hut made out of thick cardboard can’t be called a “home” but she loves this place where her family lives together.

She catches her family’s share of fish and goes back humming to herself. She is a strong woman and she doesn’t let any hurdle slow her down. She is the only earning member in her family after her husband’s demise but she doesn’t complain. She takes care of her in-laws, sends her children to school and works all day doing odd jobs. Sometimes she fails to secure two square meals but then life has its share of struggles and happiness, she believes.

The past decade has seen a drastic change in the role of a woman. She feels that the discrimination is slowly melting away but somehow has its own drawbacks. While she is the only able member to earn and feed her family, there are families where the male members refrain from going out because the women of the family are earning. That somehow also hints towards the empowerment of the women. The income of the family comes from the work a woman does. She is respected and she is always valued. Isn’t it what the women always wanted?

With power comes great responsibility and hence she approached the local NGO to ask for help. They vehemently agreed. The NGO formed a self-help group for ladies of the small locality where she lived. They empowered the ladies by collecting weekly funds and forming a capital fund for them. The ladies were given the power to take loans from that fund in emergency and return the amount without interest. This was a huge step towards the empowerment of women in that area. Soon the news spread and now there were many such groups formed by women.

As she looks back, she is nothing but proud of herself for helping not only herself but others too. Life is not a bed of roses for her but she loves her life of struggles and small victories. She is empowered like never before, she has a loving family, her kids excel at school and she is always striving for something better in life. The same organization is working really hard to give her a permanent house unlike the one she is living in. She is hopeful for a better future. She doesn’t sit and dream; she works and sees her dream turn into a beautiful reality.source: Google
Please step forward and help in your own little ways to make life easier for countless less fortunate people around you. This is a true story and I have noticed one thing, they are happier than we are. God’s own special ways to run things around here.