Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The virtues of charity

A weird moment of synchronism happened to me yesterday. Last month, I had to cancel my sponsorships with the two children I was sponsoring. One of them sent me a letter that I received in my mailbox. Selma, the girl I was sponsoring in Brazil, told me that she was planning on leaving the project. Reason being, she got married and was no longer living with her family. My eyes welled up after learning this. I started sponsoring Selma when she was 11 years old. She is now 16. Apparently, I failed to realize that it's customary for people in Brazil to get married at younger ages. Either way, I was satisfied by this accomplishment. What satisfied me more was that I played a major role in this girl's life and that she expressed a tremendous amount of gratitude in her letter to me. Before, her village had no electricity and now she has a much better quality of life. I actually felt pretty horribly at first because I had canceled the sponsorship, but it was serendipitous that she was planning on leaving anyway. Chances are, even if she had not gotten married, I would have still received the same amount of gratitude.

I have another sponsored child from India named Narendra. I have yet to receive a letter confirming that he received my last letter. However, I have faith he will understand as well. After all, when I was more affluent, I had contributed a substantial amount of money for his birthday. It translated to such a large amount in rupees, that a majority of it was placed in a bank account for his future studies. I have faith that he will weather the storms of poverty very effectively.

There is a lot to be said about charity. It's my firm belief that when you give of yourself, more likely than not, you will get something back in return. It may not come immediately, but when you least expect it, you will be handsomely rewarded. Of course, since physical amenities rule a lot of our daily activities, a check from the Publisher's Clearing House would be nice. However, the best currency that could be offered from anybody is their love.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Jack for this post. Very profound. Even though you're not in the same financial shape you once were, you're still deriving the benefits of the good work you did in someone else's life. I had an experience recently where a former client of mine told me he was going to college, and that made me feel very positive about the effect I had on people in my last job. It's so important to feel like we have a positive impact on the world around us.