When it Comes to Money the Best Way to Learn is to Teach
After years of reading financial books or going to church, generosity has been deeply ingrained. Interestingly, it’s given with the same urgency outside religious circles as within. Regardless of your beliefs, giving is the spiritual aspect of money. It’s more about who we are than what we do. My greatest lessons learned about money happened when I chose to teach others.
By the time my daughter began to understand the concept of money, I knew being generous was a character trait we wanted to teach her. Opportunities are plentiful. Like the homeless person on the corner, a friend that had fallen on hard times, or classmates of hers that we could bless with experiences. While her witnessing generosity transformed her tender heart, I’m confident I learned more about the meaning of charity in teaching her.
Here are seven lessons I’ve learned by teaching others about generosity.
C – Charity Changes the World
Since the fact that giving is providing something to an individual that they don’t currently have, you are changing their world. Granted you might not recognize it immediately; you are also gradually changing your world by the opening of your heart to another.
H – Highest Form of Love
While we tend to think of love as between man and woman, love in it’s purest form is charity. Giving to others out of your abundance to meet a need on a physical level. Furthermore, on a spiritual level, you are giving them the gift of hope.
A – Action that Takes the Focus of Self
For the purpose of growth, an action is often self-focused. We take action to learn, develop and progress towards our goals. Indeed it may happen in the service of others but it is for the benefit of ourselves. Charity moves the focus to others.
R – Reward is in the Doing
Goals and growth go hand in hand. Yet often when it comes to achieving our goals, there’s a whole lot of doing before we receive the reward. However, when it comes to charity the reward is in the doing. The reward is immediate.
I – In the Present
Likely, one of the greatest gifts we receive from giving is the gift of being in the present moment. No longer are we worried about the meeting with our boss, the laundry that is piling up or that extra ten pounds. Every worry, every fear vanishes when we are in the present. And acts of charity are an amazing means to experience that regularly.
T – Turn Thoughts of Judgment to Mercy
Assuming you’re human it’s likely you had the judgmental thought about the homeless person wasting money on alcohol or the person fired for good cause. However, we have not be placed on this planet to judge but to help one another. Charity is a means for turning our thoughts from ones of judgment to ones of mercy.
Y – You are the Real Benefactor
As a final point on the surface, we consider the recipient the benefactor of our charitable acts, when the truth is we are the benefactor. As mentioned, our world is changed, we gain unimagined rewards, we become more fully alive living in the moment, and more. In truth, we think we are helping another when the one receiving the greatest help is ourselves.
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on your last charitable act (whether it was with time, talent or money).
- Make a list of all the good things that came from that single act of charity.
- What would change in your life if those results were achieved on a more regular and consistent basis?
- How can you make charity a natural part of your day to day life, rather than trying to fit extra things into your activities or budget?