Selected Excerpt from Real Charity
By Ven KSri Dhammananda Maha Thera
"You perform real charity if you can give freely without expecting anything in return. The act of true charity is wholesome, has no strings attached, and leaves both the giver and recipient free.
Among people who practise charity, there are some who give as a means of attracting others into their religion or creed. Such an act of giving which is performed with the ulterior motive of conversion cannot really be said to be true charity.
There are many things which a person can give. He can give material things: food for the hungry, and money and clothes to the poor. He can also give his knowledge, skill, time, energy or effort to projects that can benefit others. He can provide a sympathetic ear and good counsel to a friend in trouble. He can restrain himself from killing other beings, and by so doing perform a gift of life to the HELPLESS BEINGS which would have otherwise been killed. He can also give a part of his body for the sake of others, such as donating his blood, eyes, kidnsy etc..."
I just realised that choosing to be a vegetarian is also an act of charity. The word "Helpless Beings" strike a chord with me. Farm animals are helpless beings. I believe everybody should understand their actions (ie. eating animals) and think about the deeper effects of their actions.