Since the beginning of civilisation, we have cultivated charity. You have more than you need and you give others who have less than what they need. With many centuries of organised civilisations, promotion of this concept has, disappointingly, resulted in 50% of the 7 billion people on this planet living below the poverty line.
So the question is: Do we still want to do charity?
It is natural to have empathy and sensitivity towards the poor. It seems rather common that a growing number of people want to give to the world and the middle class too is not unaffected with this phenomenon.
In the previous century, we have seen a rise in life expectancy but a fall in health, and social institutions with high divorce rates, and living with complete strangers instead of family. In the process of discovering our freedom and experiences our choices, right or wrong, we for sure are turning lonely and aloof. Few of us are lucky to actually find our bliss in our choices and have issues but fewer complaints. This is resulting in a lack of appreciation, recognition and being loved. Our deep emotions for belonging to something, somebody or inner self are growing by leaps and bounds but are finding no good takers to connect the dots which was effortlessly done through the concept of joint families, relatives and communities in which we lived.
We could be sympathetic towards the less privileged but we are not yet compassionate about life and nature. It is our selfish need to feel good about our self more than doing good for others, that we turn to charity. Origin of charity was always in selfish interest. It was never a selfless act. Hindus did it for good karma in return or to get rid of evil energies. The poor sold their soul to wealthy people by giving them blessings and we never bothered to question how would we prosper through the blessings from a poor person, when he actually has nothing. But the rich did get richer and poor who gave blessings did become poorer over the centuries, across many centuries. Their blessings did work and since they did not have anything to offer, they offered the good karma of their soul, thus creating learning over many lives to realise that they must work towards survival.
This form of charity, where the poor charitably gave their soul and the rich got richer yet not being happy or healthy created an impact that people remain in poverty and this, therefore, is 50% of the world’s population.
However, we see an emergence of a new form of charity which is getting institutionalized giving birth to an organization working for a cause. Those who have experienced the suffering with the issue that became a huge support to their wisdom are the most effective organizations or individuals. This is an effective way of transforming society, where suffering converted into pain becomes a process of healing themselves causing transformation and compassion emerged.
Doing it for a cause was always with the intent to give, to share the wisdom and to help evolve the society compared to charity which was a selfish act of getting something out of the good work.