Most people think of charity as simply giving to the poor. But the meaning goes much deeper. Charity, in its definition, means a “voluntary giving of help.” It also can signify an “organization set up to raise money” or “kindness and tolerance in judging others.”
The root of the word sprouts from a basic love of humankind. The word itself is derived from the Latin carita, or carus, meaning ‘dear’.
And so when I speak of working for charities, I speak of working for organizations that care for others, that have a basic love of humankind and raise money to help those in need.
I feel my work is a form of charity- of loving humankind. As an auctioneer I am called upon to use my voice to raise awareness and funds to help others and it is a wildly fulfilling vocation.
But in the many years of my work I journeyed deeper into what it really means to be charitable. And I recognize that when helping others and making a difference, a profound acceptance of self starts to happen. When we focus our energy on improving someone else’s life we forget, if only for that time, our own troubles. Sometimes it is seeing how tough someone else has it, the daily struggles that they must endure, that makes our own problems shrink and dissolve.
An act of charity can be a tangible- donating clothes or money or furniture to an organization. It can also be less tangible- giving your time or your talents for example. But the result is the same: a change in energy. We change the energetic world of the person who receives the gift. But by giving, we also experience a change in energy. We feel good. We feel we have impacted our community in a positive way.
This season, these cold and dark months of winter, I petition you to be charitable. Practice kindness and tolerance and withhold destructive judgments. Start with yourself.