Charity is one of those words that I am embarrassed to say I haven't really ever understood. When I hear the word 'charity' I tend to think of a foundation, monetary donations or aid to the poor. What does it mean to have charity? After watching this video, I gained a greater understanding of what it means to be charitable. These tips can help improve your charity.

What is charity?

In the dictionary, the first definition is, "Generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill or helpless." It isn't until the fifth definition you find it explained as, "A benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor."

In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 8:1 says, "charity edifieth." Even in biblical times, charity was an important concept that was taught. Another translation of that same scripture further explained charity as love. Also, it is important to note that 'to edify' is to build up, strengthen, establish or repair.

It is interesting that something seemingly so simple in concept is, in reality of everyday life, difficult to understand and apply.

What you can learn from this video

1. Charity can and has changed the world

In the case of the couple in the video, the act of loving and supporting their foster children may not seem like a world-changer, but it is indeed a life-changer for the children they have adopted. Likewise, when we as parents can consistently build a strong relationship of love, guidance and trust with our own children, we can change the world by changing a life.

2. Charity is difficult

The time it takes to raise and rear a child is an enormous task. While parenting is often portrayed as a punch line, fun, always fulfilling, even exciting, most of the ideas of parenting we get from social media, movies, stories, etc. leave out the long stretches of monotony, impatience and frustrations that real life brings. To maintain a positive, loving home and relationship takes work. The Work is in the form of patience, understanding and being able to let the little things go while focusing on what really matters. What really matters is making sure a child feels and is shown love unconditionally. Kind, encouraging words and loving discipline are essential to nourish and guide a child.

Choose now to be charitable

George Denney said, "No matter where you were before, it's like, where you can be now ... your past doesn't define that."

Charity is always attainable. It is in our control. In a world with so many things happening that we have no control over, we always have, and always will have, the power to become more charitable. It is something we can choose. We have the freedom to make our own choices of how we react, how we inspire and how we feel. The choice to have charity is something we can do regardless of status, situation or circumstance. It may be in the rearing of our own children, the strengthening of a marriage or opening ourselves up to those around us who are in need. We are constantly surrounded by people. Whether they be strangers, acquaintances, family or friends, there are endless opportunities for us to offer a smile, open a door or hold a hand.

Open your eyes and recognize need

Mother Teresa said, "Love is not patronizing and charity isn't about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same - with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead."

Recognizing the need in others is a start. Open your eyes to the world around you. Recognize your own abilities to give and be brave enough to 'reach out your hand'.

Through our actions and reactions we can all aspire to understand and apply the meaning of what it is to have charity.

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