The beauty of unselfish love and loving ourselves, is that it provides us freedom. When we cast away the ties of selfishness we grow, our spirit expands and we find clarity in our thinking. Giving from the generosity of our own hearts, not because it is expected or demanded but because we want to is a kindness, not only to others but to ourselves and leads to spiritual growth.
People have always hoarded money, treasure and art, more than they would ever need in a lifetime. It is not charitable share your wealth after your death, what else could you possibly do with it as you cannot take it with you. A fear of being without, flames the fires of selfishness. I find it sad but at the same time recognise the fear of being without.
In ancient times charity was encouraged, insisted upon in the form of a Levy, whereby a certain amount of each mans wealth was given to the poor and needy. This was necessary as the wealthy would not give from the generosity of their own hearts. They did not give because they loved their treasure, they were blinded by their need to amass wealth and relished in the status this gave. They did not see the suffering of the poor because they were blinded by their own self interest and therefore did not think of others in any way as material wealth was the priority of the day.
A Festival of Giving was established by priests which is how, what we know of today as our own Harvest Festival came about. The rich generously donated part of their harvest and wealth to the poor. The rich gave because of the expectation, not because of willingness or generosity and this was a painful sacrifice to many of them. Did this help their souls, that they had to feel the pain caused by sacrifice, well maybe but I doubt it helped them with any kind of real spiritual growth or understanding.
I do think the world has moved on, spirituality and kindness is more prevalent in todays world and people give to others more easily as we look outside of ourselves and see those in need. We have reached a point of greater understanding, the concept that we are all part of the same, all walking the same path and the recognition of the development of the human soul has been recognised and is growing in todays world.
When we grow spiritually we understand the importance of giving, sharing and loving. We reach out to others and heal, we listen, give time, patience and encouragement to those in need. This is true spiritual charity and when we give of ourselves in this way we are replenished. When we give love, loves grows within us, when we heal we are in turn healed ourselves. To be spiritual we have to put the needs of others along side our own needs.
Charity is not all about giving material wealth but if you have it, or more than you need give it to someone in need. I would rather eat less and give some away than keep it all to myself. But charity is more than that, charity is giving of ourselves for a greater good. Charity is love of others, to be charitable means to love others as much as you love yourself.