The entire purpose of our existence is to learn how to discipline our natural passions and tendencies, and in the process, develop the highest of all attributes – that of charity. Never forget, however, that charity and service are not the same. Charity is a characteristic trait, service is a kind act! And while charity is certainly developed through continual kind acts of service, charity also seeks no reward and is initiated because of unselfishness and love rather than the hope of recognition.
True service and charity are usually not accomplished through great one-time opportunities or philanthropic acts; but they are most often demonstrated best through habits of small, quiet, humble, and unrecognized actions of every day. Albert Einstein perhaps said it best when he penned: “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” This truth explains why happiness is found from within, not without; and perhaps more importantly, it more fully explains why confidence and self-esteem improve and depression and sadness flee the moment we start to think of and help others. Ironically, our lives are found in the losing of them!
As we think of and approach service from this perspective, perhaps the 25 simple items listed below become much more significant. Why? Participation in these simple acts will certainly not be acts sufficient to be recognized on the news, be worthy of some award, or be justifiable to carve a name on a plaque. However, the continual participation in these unselfish acts of service and love will in time produce the greatest reward – that of the development of character, a life of service to others, and the eventual possession of charity. And while the reward for such acts is usually only an appreciative and grateful benefactor of the charitable act, the real satisfaction comes from the happiness that will inevitably result from a life of unselfish service.