Many people fail to see the purpose of giving. “What gain is there for me?” they’ll ask, and it is indeed difficult sometimes to point to how charity brings you a discrete, specific, calculable return. Instead, giving is a reflection of what truly matters to you in the world. It’s your opportunity to actually make a tangible difference in an area that matters to you. Seeing that your effort has created change in someone’s life—or created slight change in a lot of lives—is incredibly powerful.
The need to serve others that are less privileged than me is what compelled me to join Rotary. And I remain a proud member of Bwaila Rotary Club even though I relocated from Malawi. And in Harare, I do fellowship with The Bridge Rotary Club. You see sometimes it can feel overwhelming— there are so many things out there that deserve a gift that it’s easier to fall into inaction—you can’t decide, so you choose to do nothing at all. But spend some time figuring out what matters the most to you. Is it the environment? Is it education? Is it children? Is it poverty in your community? It could be any of these—or something else. Then do something about it. Give something—your time, financial or material resources.
Giving has a profound secret: when you give to something that truly matters to you, you feel incredibly good. That good feeling radiates throughout your life. People pick up on your good feelings and they respond better to you and more financial opportunities open up.
Our actions cause many, many things to happen, many of which we don’t see. Giving of ourselves freely in a positive way sends out ripples of good events, and over time, those ripples come back to you and to everyone you care about. You might not see the direct effect, but those indirect effects echo throughout your life. This is why companies engage in corporate social responsibility—trust me, if it was not paying them more in return, they would have stopped long time back.
By the way, it is not uncommon to get a job not just because you are competent but because your dad was so good to some of the job panelists. Your spirit of charity could bring more resources for your children in years to come. Remember charity is not just about giving money but even your goodness.
Give what you can, without regrets. The positive benefits echo throughout your life, the lives of everyone you care about, and lives you’ve never crossed. Walk away knowing that the work of your life has gone to truly make the world a better place and watch your personal finances grow in waves.
Truth be told, when all your life is spent and you are gone, people will not give you credit because of the mansions and vehicles you amassed to yourself but how much you gave of yourself and yours to society.
This is a dedication to my Rotary Club, Bwaila, for the great job they are doing and all Rotarians out there!
Blessed weekend to you all as you contemplate on your next charity move!