“Such there be, who when they have done a good turn to any, are ready to set them on the score for it, and to require retaliation. Others there be, who though they stand not upon retaliation,to require any, yet they think with themselves nevertheless, that such a one is their debtor, and they know as their word is what they have done.
“Others again there be, who when they have done and such thing, do not so much as know what they have done; but are like unto the vine, which beareth her grapes, and when once she hath borne her own proper fruit, is content and seeks for no further recompense. As a horse after a race, or a hunting dog when he has hunted, and a bee when she has made her honey, look not for applause and commendations; so neither does that man that rightly doth understand his own nature when he has done a good turn.” ~Marcus Aurelius
It somewhat amazes me that so many people don’t get that charity isn’t really charity if you expect to get something back for your good deed. Whether it be expecting the person you helped to reciprocate in some way, or expecting the charity you helped to give you publicity for doing so, It’s not charity, it’s making a purchase if you expect something in return. The same is true if you think that by doing someone a favor, they are now indebted to you.
As Aurelius notes, true charity is when you give to others in such a way as to not even think of it as doing them a favor. Somebody needs help, you just help them. You don’t think “ I need to do my good deed for the day, so I will help him.” You don’t think, “I’m a good person, therefore I should help.” You do it without thinking about it at all. It is as automatic to you as breathing air. That is true charity. Few of us can claim to have reached that level. It is a difficult thing to do in such a materialistic world. Yet it is something that we should aim for as we grow our spiritual side. Continue reading “Charity Done Because It’s the Right Thing to Do”