A discussion of financial freedom is incomplete without mentioning generous giving. Our desire for wealth leaves us with an unsatisfying emptiness if our only goal is to make our own lives more comfortable.
Focusing on ourselves is a trap that we can easily fall into as we struggle for financial independence. Not only are we looking toward building our financial future, we also have to contend with the challenges of providing for the current needs of our families and ourselves.
We can get so fixated on our financial dreams that we forget about the needy world around us. It is difficult for us to give up any hard earned money to help others. Yet, by giving in to this self-absorbed thinking, we truly can rob ourselves of some of life’s greatest joys along the way.
Poor and Generous
A young woman worked as a bank teller. She was newly married. Although she and her husband earned very little between their jobs, they were good at managing their money.
One day, the woman found out that a young coworker, who was a student, was having such financial difficulties that he sometimes was not able to eat a decent meal. Thanksgiving was coming soon and he had nowhere to go. Although the woman would have liked to invite the coworker to share the Thanksgiving meal with her and her husband, they were going out of town to visit relatives.
The couple decided to help the young man the best that they could. One day, when the woman and coworker were at work, the husband put several bags of groceries in the man’s car. After work, the man was overwhelmed by what he found. But, it was the couple who received the greater gift. They discovered the joy of generous giving.
Wealthy and Generous
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, two of the richest men in the world, know all about generous giving. Both of them put incredible amounts of hard work into building their fortunes. Buffett has been frugal all of his life and continues to be now. They both are distributing most of their fortunes to charity. Examples from the past of wealthy and generous people are John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie who each gave large amounts to charity.
How to Give
It is important to practice giving throughout life, not just after achieving financial freedom. Many people follow the practice of giving a proportional amount of their income away. In this way, whether they earn a little or a lot, they are always giving something.
There are many places to give money. It is helpful for each person to determine what causes are most important to him or her and donate accordingly. Some examples of organized charitable giving causes are education, hunger, health research, and faith-based organizations. It is also good to be ready to help individuals as needs arise.
Donating time and skills are another avenue of generous giving. There are always opportunities for volunteering in one’s community, whether it is working at a food shelf, tutoring a student, or helping someone balance a checkbook.
Generous giving can be just as beneficial to the giver as well as the receiver. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the joy of giving even before you achieve your financial freedom goal.
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