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Why is charity important to spiritual growth?

Arianna Huffington
Health Education

Transcending ourselves -- our problems, cares and fears, but also our pleasures, hopes and joys -- is at the heart of the Fourth Instinct. "Charity begins at home" is the cliché too often used to justify doing nothing for others until one's own problems have been solved and all one's pleasures have been indulged. It reveals the handiwork of our three basic instincts. Our Fourth Instinct knows better. I’m reminded of the wisdom of an age-old African proverb: "When the right hand washes the left, the right gets cleansed too." Healing ourselves, making ourselves whole by helping others, is not some half-baked homily.

 

In every major religion, giving and service mark the path to a world in which we are no longer strangers and alone, but members of a vast yet tightly knit family. The longing to overcome our feelings of isolation and estrangement is present in each of us, motivating acts of selfish desperation at one extreme and selfless heroism at the other. Our Fourth Instinct is not an impersonal, detached urge. There is a longing to it that is intensely personal, a pressing homesickness for that something or someone we have left behind and long to reach. We ache to transcend time, transcend our limitations, transcend our material existence and embrace the eternal.

Stephen Wechsler
Chiropractic Medicine

Seva or selfless service is an important key to spiritual growth. First it should actually be called self-full service. We should give from a cup runeth over. Fill yourself spiritually in whatever means works for you then give the gift of yourself.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.