Q: Why should I give to charity when there are so many billionaires?

givingA: It is easy to point to people richer than I am, and to expect them to pay for the needs I see in the world around me, in my colleagues, my friends and family.

What is more of a challenge is to look for my own places of abundance (however minor they might be), and then to give from there.

Yes, billionaires can and should give.  And most of them, in fact, do.

But in my experience on this planet, I have known MANY more people who are not billionaires; people who have made a magnificent difference by giving.

The Bible refers to the “Widow’s Mite,” money given from the darkest places of need rather than from the brightest places of success.  The energy behind the mite far supersedes the extra-money from the rich.

There is additional power in the gift given from need.  Call it blessing, karma, energy–or whatever you like.  But do recognize its great power.

This human experience is so temporal.  Each opportunity we have to engage in the spirit-of-care that eliminates these notions of power and privilege–within the great equalizer of oneness–brings us closer to what I believe is one of our ultimate gifts.

We have the capacity and power to rise and be.

Or we have the tendency to wait for rescue to come from another place.

I choose the former.

And I would offer that these exchanges are the very bits that make life magical and precious.  This is not a burden and a chore, it is an opportunity for unique engagement that surpasses the limitations of our human thinking or satisfaction.

“Give a little.  Take a little.  Let your poor heart break a little.  That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.”1

1–Songwriter Billy Hill

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Nathaniel is CEO of AidChild.org. He holds a Master's Degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University where he was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and winner of the 2010 Harvard HDP Marshal Award. He also holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego where he was the Dammeyer Fellow in Global Education Leadership, and a Cordes Fellow at Opportunity Collaboration. Nathaniel is author of "We Are Not Mahogany: Three stories about the male African life." Prior to his move to Uganda in 2000, Nathaniel was Deputy Director of the Office of the Governor of Arizona, and Director of Education at Leadership, Inc.

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