If we all carried the mentality that charity starts at home, how would hospitality stretch further than our own lives? What’s more, how could communities become more giving and how could we end, or at least lessen, world poverty? We couldn’t.
The Charity Starts at home Mentality
Not only is the ‘charity starts at home’ mentality bad for the wider world, it’s also not good for you. This way of thinking stems from selfishness and promotes greed and unjust. It also takes the focus off the people, or causes, that genuinely need help. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, there are always ways you can help, and it doesn’t have to mean assisting in monetary ways. In fact, you can make just as much of an impact by giving your time, kindness, or support.
Giving is contagious; one small act of kindness can create a huge domino effect – metaphorically speaking, the first domino transfers energy onto the next, causing a chain reaction. If you’re familiar with the term ‘pay it forward’, you’ll understand just how effective this can be.
One random act of kindness at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida created an 11-hour chain of paying it forward. It began at 7am when a lady chose to purchase a coffee for the person behind her in the queue, who then paid for the next. By 6pm, 378 customers had paid it forward but the chain was broken when the 379th customer declined to pay for the next.
Humans are very good at mirroring other people’s behaviour, especially when it is inspiring of some sort – show kindness and generosity and you can be sure that it will be transmitted to those around you. The same goes for negativity; bad words, vibes and actions can create a ripple effect throughout not only relationships but across the world.
The Power of Positive Influence
It’s so important, when in a position of power, to have a positive influence on the world. Take Mark Zuckerburg, for example – he, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, have started the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative, which aims to create a better world for future generations. The initiative, which will focus on two key areas – advancing human potential and promoting equality, was started by the Facebook mogul and his wife in honour of their first born child Max, and plans to give away 99% of Facebook shares, which is an estimated $45 billion.
While there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the initiative, we fully promote it – anyone who makes a positive stamp on the world, no matter how big or small, is doing a great thing in our eyes. Putting aside the speculation and rumours, the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative will change the lives of future generations for the better, and what strikes us the most about it is that Mark and Priscilla have given their baby daughter the greatest lesson of all – charity shouldn’t start at home.
In a letter to their daughter, Mark and Priscilla wrote, “We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.” The initiative will impact the lives of those not even born yet and that’s the type of kindness the world needs more of.
Where will you choose to offer your generosity – will you share it with the world, or will you keep it in your home where it can’t grow any further?