Many people fail to see the purpose of giving. “What gain is there for me?” they will ask. Of course, it’s difficult to point to how charity brings you a discrete, specific, calculable return. Instead, giving offers you an 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 am a proud member of Bwaila Rotary Club.
It is the same strong urge to serve my country with whatever small contribution that made me leave my international job and come back home in patriotism. 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.
Giving has a profound secret: when you give to something that truly matters to you, you feel incredibly good and you have no regrets. That good feeling radiates throughout your life. People pick up on your good feelings and they respond better to you and more financial opportunities often open up. No wonder almost all successful business enterprises across the world have or support charity initiatives. They have mastered the positive relationship between charity and income growth.
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.
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 have 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.
This is a dedication to my Rotary Club, Bwaila, for the great job they are doing and all Rotarians out there! Am back home not as a prodigal son but one who strongly believes in what the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Malawi, Professor Brown Chimphamba rightly articulated that the best contribution one can make is the contribution to one’s own country.
Blessed week-end to you and yours as you contemplate on your next charity move – what are you planning to freely give out? n