I recall one random day when I was a young teenager chilling in the living room with my dad he told me, “Money is never enough!”
By this he meant that if there are things you want to do for other people or for charity you shouldn’t kid yourself by saying you will do it when you have “x” amount of money or when “you get rich”; because the fact is, regardless of how much money you have, your plans and ambitions will always grow faster than the rate at which your money grows.
Think about it. These are difficult times for Malawi so literally everyone is feeling the pinch but if you look at the trend of your life over the last five years you may agree that your need for money has only grown. Even if you have less now, if you were equally rich today as you were five years ago you would be grossly dissatisfied.
When you first start working you’re likely to feel the richest; you have money but no responsibilities. Then you get married or have children or both and all your money seems to have been spent before it even reaches your bank account.
Even when you children leave home you soon realize you’re not getting younger and you don’t have enough funds to retire or even semi-retire and that stops many from giving.
The more money you have the bigger and more ambitious your plans. You will never stop and think I have enough. For this reason there is no point in holding back charitable plans until “that day”, do the little you can now.
Charity doesn’t have to come in the form of giving money away; I think it’s even better to give someone a job and pay them a fair wage. If you have projects going on and people are doing tasks for you then compensate to motivate. People that are well paid will work harder for you.
My mother is the most charitable person I know. She gives even when she knows in so doing she will have nothing left herself (frankly that baffles me); she says in over 50 years of being alive she’s learnt that things always come back. Some would call it God, others karma but it’s the same thing. Doing good creates good fortune.
As the cash gate scandal has gone on in Malawi we have all been shocked at the greed that lies amongst us. Such unbridled, self-serving behaviour will have put the country back many years in the process of development. I personally don’t know how you can observe extreme poverty day in, day out and still manage to steal from those very poor people; however, I am hopeful that it is not a sign of a society that has completely lost its way.
In summary, I want you to stop and acknowledge that money will never, ever be enough. However, with what little you have you must do good. A charitable heart creates good will not only for you but also for those that associate with you and your progeny.
“We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.” Barack Obama
For inspirational quotes follow @Getting2Wealthy on twitter.
For 2 years until early 2014 I wrote a weekly personal finance and business column for Malawi's leading media house, The Times Group. The target is middle-class, working African women.
This is a reproduction of the articles that appeared in the weekend edition of Malawi News.