Ancient Jewish rabbi, Moshe ben Maimon, once famously wrote on charity and what was viewed as the many different levels of giving. In the Mishneh Torah, the author stated that the highest level of charity is when a person teaches others how to help themselves. Actions such as offering an interest-free loan, forming a partnership, or giving a gift, can trigger a higher sense of self-reliance in a needy person. According to the Jewish teacher, the best gifts are the ones that keep on giving — charity, the ultimate gift of giving.
During this time of the year, there is likelihood that there will be plenty of opportunities to give some form of charity. Of course, offering your spare change or dollars to charitable organizations is an excellent way of helping others in need; however, have you considered giving something that could benefit another in need, more than just once? Perhaps you know someone who is in need of work. A great way of helping a person find employment is by keeping a constant lookout for job openings. In addition, try offering advice on job seeking or interview skills that have been proven effective — sharing techniques can go a long way.
Dealing with today’s issues has many of our young adults worried about their financial futures, so try offering advice on how to properly arrange their budgets and manage spending habits. Even the most common skill, such as cooking can be of help — share creative ways to help stretch food budgets.
What talents, skills, or wisdom do you possess? With the sickened economy and the flow of money severely strained, remember, there are many nonmonetary ways to give. Think about something that worked well for you and then consider passing it on to someone else. What may seem like a one-time gift offered this holiday season might turn out to be something that keeps on giving the whole year-round. God bless!