To Whom Much Is Given...
by Asoka Selvarajah (e-mail: ASelvarajah@liberator.net) [June 27th, 2005]
There was a heart-warming story on the news the other day. It seems that there is a multimillionaire in New York city called George Weiss, who has taken it upon himself to personally help as many of the poor black children of Harlem as he can.
He is personally funding the college education of literally hundreds of these needy children, who would not otherwise be able to go. Better than this, he actually gets personally involved in his work. He visits the schools, meets the kids, talks to the parents, and listens to what they're saying. Kids or parents can even phone him up if they need advice, or are in some kind of trouble.
“...contrary to the beliefs of many, all rich people are not invariably self-serving, thieving, hard-hearted, nasty SOBs who don't give a damn about anyone but themselves. It really does prove that you can be a genuinely NICE and CARING person and still become a multimillionaire.”
That's not all. He's starting even younger these days; giving the same promise of a college education to the kindergarten children!
This is an inspiring and wonderful example of giving, especially in a world that seems to be increasingly oriented in the other direction. However, it also goes to illustrate some important principles...
The first is that, contrary to the beliefs of many, all rich people are not invariably self-serving, thieving, hard-hearted, nasty SOBs who don't give a damn about anyone but themselves. It really does prove that you can be a genuinely NICE and CARING person and still become a multimillionaire.
Sadly, many people do not want to become wealthy because they believe they must somehow, by necessity, turn into a cold-hearted monster. They would rather remain poor and "pure" than be rich and "corrupt". No matter where this attitude was acquired, whether in the course of daily living or from parental influence, it is a FALSE philosophy that does not well serve the person who believes it.
Actually, this is usually an excuse given by people who are simply too afraid to take the risks necessary, or learn what needs to be learned, in order to achieve financial success. It's so much easier to just "make do", pretend you could have done it if you had really wanted to, but CHOSE not to out of pure and selfless motives.
Yet, the fact is that most, if not all, self-made millionaires understand the principles of abundance very well. They understand that when one gives, and does so with an open and generous heart, then one activates the laws of the universe to work for you, and to bring you even more abundance.
You have doubtless heard this many times before. However, what you may not be aware of is just how commonly understood and accepted this principle is amongst self-made financially wealthy people, AND how poorly understand, hardly ever believed, and almost never practiced it is amongst people who remain poor by their own choice. It draws a cynical laugh at best amongst the latter group, but virtually never amonst the former.
If you make s study of wealthy people, you will find this universal idea cropping up again and again. Indeed, it is often surprising just WHO firmly espouses it. It is NOT just the people with a sort of "spaced out" mindset, but also the most hard-nosed, determined super achievers in the upper levels of the business world. You might not, at face value, expect these people to embrace such a strange seemingly metaphysical concept, but they have found it to be as real and reliable as the chairs they sit on.
Another point often missed when people claim that they prefer to be poor, and which is well brought out by the Weiss story, is that abundant people can actually HELP many more people than people whose lives are filled with lack. This is true as a general principle, but it especially true of finances. How can you give, if you have nothing to give to begin with?
The plain fact is that rich people can help more, because they have more resources at their disposal. This is true, whether the matter at hand is helping the needy, spreading the benefits of some philosophy or teaching, working to help the environment, or anything else. It's worth thinking about, next time you wish you could greatly help some worthy cause, but can only afford a few dollars at most.
Now, it IS definitely important to maintain the correct balance between worldly and spiritual activities. It would be a mistake to cultivate worldly affluence at the expense of your soul. Yes, it IS also true that excessive riches, and the pursuit of them, can be a huge distraction from what is ultimately more important in life - namely the growth of spiritual awareness.
However, provided you have not retired from the world to become a monk and pursue the spiritual quest in that manner, you are always going to be balancing financial affairs with spiritual growth throughout your life. Hence, you might as well do both well, rather than just one (or believe that one necessarily excludes the other). Don't make this balance an excuse for doing one and not the other.
If further proof were needed, ponder what Mr. Weiss is doing with his time and money, and think of the huge positive impact he is having upon society through his generous help. This is a wonderful and valid model for what true affluence means, and the power it gives you to benefit many.
Think poor, you stay poor, and your cup fills with excuses and blame. Think rich, you become rich, and your cup runneth over to benefit many others around you.
Which do you prefer? Take a look at the life you are living and you will see the evidence of your choice. And if you don't like what you see, remember... you can always change it!
Newsday: Philanthropist Fulfills Promise to Send City Students to College
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