Who would have ever thought about various levels of giving unless a Jewish scholar named Maimonides from the 12th century invented the ladder of charitable giving? Each ascending rung of the ladder represents a higher level of virtuous giving. Even if you are already a generous giver who gives before being asked, this little lesson makes all of us aware as to how we can enrich and improve our charitable awareness. It is good food for thought, and can only enhance what we do in this lifetime to ease the hardships of someone else.
You might ask yourself if and when you have even been assisted personally on any of these levels. By putting the shoe on the other foot and remembering when we were on the receiving end of giving rather than the giving end, we might better focus on how we can become better givers today. When the emotion involved in receiving is remembered, our hearts are softened. Next, we can better aspire to be a generous giver ourselves because we have experienced receiving and now can reciprocate from many levels.
Below are the eight levels in ascending order.
The Lowest to the Highest Level:
8. Giving but doing so begrudgingly wherein the recipient feels embarrassed and/or disgraced because of the gift.
7. Giving cheerfully, but not giving enough.
6. Giving cheerfully and adequately, but only after being asked.
5. Giving before being asked.
4. Giving to an unknown recipient, but having the recipient know the identity of the giver.
3. Giving when the donor is aware of the recipient’s identity, but the recipient does not know the source of the gift.
2. Giving in such a manner that neither the donor nor the recipient are known to each other.
- Giving (money, loan, and/or assistance) before the need arises in order to prevent a person from becoming dependent upon others and instead becoming self-reliant and/or self-actualizing.
Why not climb the giving ladder with OG CARES. Let’s challenge ourselves and others to learn how to be an educated giver on all 8 levels. We do so by taking one step at a time up the giving ladder.
Be Your Very Best Always,
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Thoughts On Giving is a weekly “newsletter” that is intended help all of us to become more educated as to how giving works to strengthen our ties with our own growth and development as physical and spiritual beings.