Charity, or philanthropy, we regard as a virtue, which became part of the essence of our lives, our entire society.
What causes our need to be engaged in charity? It is known that the charity is a sign of a healthy and humane society. But it is necessary to understanding why we do it, why we feel the desire to share with others, why generosity is an important characteristic of human nature? I believe that the key to the understanding of philanthropy lies in understanding that it is important not only to the person in need, but also to the giver, as the need to be compassionate is one of the most important in humans. We need food, protection and love, as well as we all have a desire to share what is given to us with our nearest people. Charity is one of the simplest, and at the same time the most perfect way to bring harmony to the material world, charity helps us to fulfill our destiny in the world.
Charity is an act of sheer justice. Naturally, in the first place we put the responsibility for our own lives, but can our well-being be more important than the most pressing needs of your neighbors? Can we aspire to the highest levels of intellectual and spiritual development, when our neighbor needs advice and help?
To prove the importance of charity it is necessary to point that it allows us to spiritualize the material, to realize our highest intentions. Therefore, we must be engaged in charity quietly, and a rich man who helps poor man with a proud look, imagining that he is committing a great mercy, is deeply mistaken. Once B. Mandeville pointed out that the motive of charity and mercy, as a rule, is the desire to earn the praise of contemporaries, to remain in the memory of posterity: “Pride and vanity have built more hospitals than all virtues together.” (Hundert 1995)
The strength of charity is that it does not allow us to dive into selfishness, since good deeds are good in their essence, they “elevate” the soul. As for donating money to charity, this is the most effective means of spiritualization material, as you give part of what you have: your efforts, your empathy and compassion.
Though I must stress that it is necessary to help with money only those who need it. We live in a material world, where all necessary for existence can be bought with money. B. Mandeville believed that charity should be avoided unless it is contrary to justice, that is principle governing the balance of given and received. He argued that “to benefit another without necessity and without action”¦ is a sure way to devalue it.” (Douglas 1993)