One of the most important things for any of us to keep in mind – perhaps more so today than ever before – is that what you have today can be taken away from you all too quickly. It’s always worth being thankful for what you have even when you want to have more. Ask anyone who has gone from rags to riches just how grateful they are and while you’re at it, ask anyone who has gone the opposite way just how dangerous complacency can be.
This knowledge also makes it all the more important to realize that there is always someone worse off than you. It’s easy to find yourself complaining about your lot in life, particularly if you see someone who has worked less than you enjoying a better lifestyle. However, even the fact that you are reading this means you’re able to access a computer and have learned to read – which may not seem huge to you, but is more than some people ever have.
It’s a matter of record that charitable works are good for the soul. This is true for the less well-off just as much as it is for the billionaires. It’s covered widely in the Bible that small acts of charity can be as valuable as huge donations. But how do we balance this? How do you ensure that you keep on giving when you don’t have much to give?
Giving Your Knowledge
If you’ve balanced your budget and are at the point where you couldn’t give another cent no matter how much you want to, then you still have something of worth. Passing on your knowledge can be as much an act of charity as donating an armful of gold watches. This can be something as simple as helping a homeless person to fill in a form for temporary housing, for example, or taking time out to help with Sunday school classes.
Giving Your Time
Voluntary work is a vital part of charity, and it goes without saying that all the money in the world will not make aid work unless there’s someone there to turn it into good deeds. Volunteering with the likes of MERS Goodwill, for example, will allow valuable aid to reach those who need it. Getting involved at a soup kitchen or a food bank will be invaluable to those people who really do have nothing; it will also act as a reminder of what you do have.
Giving Your Understanding
What you can give instead of money goes even beyond your work or your expertise. Sometimes, simply listening can be one of the most charitable acts there is. People who have fallen on hard times often find it all the harder because they fear the judgement of others.
From the homeless person who has too often been condemned as a layabout to the depressed person who’s sick of being told to pull themselves together; everyone has a story. You don’t even have to offer advice if you don’t think you have it to give – just letting them unburden themselves can be a kindness.
Hopefully the above have inspired some ideas that can help you give back, even when times are tough on a personal level, for the benefit of the whole.