It is more blessed to give than to receive.
In his ninth commandment on making money Rabbi Lapin suggests that we should give away ten percent of our income. He goes on to say that “charity is irrational” as a means to make money but “nevertheless, it benefits the giver in many ways.”
Since we are on the topic of giving I want to retell a story I recently heard Randall Wallace tell about giving in secret. It goes like this.
Imagine you come home one day after work and park your car in the street. The next morning you get up and realize someone has dinged your door. There is no note. As you leave for work that morning you can not help but look at your neighbors differently. That little old lady who was once the nicest grandma in the world does not seem so sweet this morning. The fine young man next door over is now feeling a lot more like a hooligan. Those lovely little kids playing ball in the street seem a lot more suspicious this morning.
Now lets imagine you came home from work all the same. After you finished dinner and were getting ready to sit down with a good book you look outside and notice your trash can blew over. Trash was everywhere. In one of your weaker moments you decide you will pick it up in the morning. The next morning you get dressed and go outside to track down your trash. But you find your trash can upright and your lawn and block free from trash. Someone had picked it up for you. Who did this? Surely it was that little sweet old lady that now that you think of it always smiles at you, she really is the nicest person. Or perhaps the fine young man who now that you think of it always says hello and remembers your name too, he really is going places. Or was it the kiddos who are always playing ball in the street and who now that you think of it always see you coming and pause their game without making you wait, what great and considerate kids.
In the second scenario because one neighbor did something good in secret, they built up good will for the whole neighborhood – which by the way includes them too. The same resources were deployed but the goodness that resulted was multiplied. Cool.
A deed done in secret multiplies. Good or bad.
-A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin
As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.