Does giving money to charity make you a charitable person by default?

I recently had a conversation with someone whom I respect very much. We were discussing the current immigration status in America. They were interested in my perspective as an immigrant.

Before I proceed, I would just like to say this, in case anyone was wondering; I am a legal resident in the USA.

While we were talking, they said; “I’m a very compassionate person. I’m always volunteering for one thing or another, and I give my money to different charities all the time, but I think that immigration in this country has…”.

The above quote got me thinking about what it means to be charitable. (Haha, I know you thought this post was going to be about my thoughts on immigration. Nope!)

What does it mean to give, to truly give?

We all know that giving to charity is a staple of good humanitarian behavior. It is important as a society, not to forget those who do not have the same privileges that we enjoy and sometimes take for granted. It goes without saying, that helping those in need of the basic necessities of life, is the fundamental responsibility of every human being. Christians know that Jesus preached love for neighbor as self, and it is said even said in Mathew chapter 25 verse 40; “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I’m sure every religion preaches goodwill toward others in one way or another.

So, does giving money to charity automatically qualify you as charitable?

Why do I ask? Most people are proud to say that they give to charity and and help “the poor” in one way or the other. While I’m not adverse to this, I do however, feel that it shouldn’t be a standard by which we measure our “goodness”.

Many people who can afford to give to charities or volunteer their time at homeless shelters during the holiday season, tend to use their charitable acts as a validation of their character. For example, an executive at a large company gives thousands of dollars to a charity and then the world gets to clap for them for being generous.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with getting some praise for a good deed.

However, to me true givers are those who don’t think it necessary to point out the fact that they give to charity. They are those who don’t have enough for themselves but are willing to share the little they do have with someone who has nothing.

If you need to tell me that you give to charity in order to establish yourself as a compassionate person, I just think it takes away from the genuinity of your generosity.

P.S. This is my personal opinion. What do you think? leave your thoughts in the comments section.


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