Giving: an Ancient Tradition
AROUND THE WORLD, ACROSS CULTURES, AND THROUGH THE AGES
Philanthropy is defined as giving money in order to "promote the common good. It is a time-tested strategy for inspiring innovation and education; a soul-satisfying way of making the world better.
Throughout history every culture has seen the need for the practice of philanthropy, giving for the sake of giving. Following are some interesting examples…
"Charity is pleasing and praiseworthy in the sight of God and is regarded as a prince among goodly deeds."
The essence of true charity is to give something without expecting anything in return for the gift.
Charity in Christianity is not just almsgiving, and should not be seen only as an obligation or duty. Charity is love.
In the Confucian tradition, shi (giving) is to act for the sake of others for whom the benevolent heart has compassion.
For Hindus, dana (giving) is an important part of one’s dharma (religious duty).
Reading the Qur’an – Islam’s holy book, the Word of Allah – one cannot help being struck by the number of times charity is mentioned...
A fundamental part of the observance of the vow of Ahimsa is that householders should make it a point to give regularly to the charities from their income to some extent.
Tzedakah (charity) is a fundamental part of the Jewish way of life. The spiritual benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar actually does the giver a favor by giving a person the opportunity to perform tzedakah.
Native American (First Peoples)
In Native cultures, philanthropy means the honor of giving It is a way of life rather than an obligation or a responsibility.
Charity is a very important part of Sikh teachings because equality and compassion are essential for a spiritual life.
The Tao of heaven is to take from those who have too much and give to those who do not have enough. The more we give to others, the greater our abundance.
Eight Rungs of
the Giving Ladder
Maimonides, a 12th century Jewish scholar, invented the following ladder of giving. Every rung has an aspect of virtue. How do you choose to give?