Charity is not giving what you have to spare, but giving what you need to someone who needs it more.
A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires. –Marcus Aurelius
All men have to make a choice about what path they want to pursue in life; a choice between Ambition, the beaten path most people take because it’s easy to travel, and Aspiration, the path of the Noble Man. The path of the Noble Man is not made up of a random act of kindness here and there, but a lifestyle you lead every day in everything you do.
You have to realize just because you choose the Noble Man’s path life isn’t going to stop dropping problems on you. Instead of seeing these events as problems, you will look around and see them as blessings for others.
You realize that some people need help to overcome their hurdles, and you will help them. You will help out those who can’t do anything to replay you, and people may think you are a fool. You will give to those trying to become a better person, and people may think you are being taken advantage. But you will slowly see how life goes on a little better for those you help.
Sometimes you may feel like people will start expecting your help, and you might even think that you are being taken advantage off. But you will keep helping others gladly. You will realize that charity is not giving what you have to spare, but giving what you need, to someone who needs it more. And people will still think you are a fool.
You do it anyway, because for you it’s not an option. You don’t do it for applause or for recognition. You do it because you know that life is hard and you know what it’s like to suffer and to need. You do it because you know what it’s like to be down. You keep helping others every day because being a good man is your reward.
And you realize how people grow better from you being that random kindness in their lives. And you realize how all those random acts start paying off. They pay off not in fame and not with money, but in the simple act that someone else will become a better person. That is payment enough for the Noble Man.
And everyone who thought of you as a fool will realize just how foolish they were. You will inspire everyone you touch to try and become Noble themselves. You will grow from their growth; you will become a wiser man, a stronger man, and a better man; as you understand that those foolish acts are the seeds of a Better World.
By that time you realize that there were never two paths, just the Right Path.
Video originally found on Upworthy