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Saturday, July 14, 2012

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Not for Profit and Not for Free Either


There is a major misconception in the world today that, if something is being given freely or without charge, then it must have little or no value.  Suspicion and doubt often surround the thing being given, whether it’s a person’s time or their treasures.  After all, why should anyone wish to give something for nothing… unless they have a motive for doing so?  Few stop to think that perhaps the act is genuine, that the person is sincere, or that the motive may be truly altruistic!In today’s world where ‘money makes the world go around’ and the driving force behind large companies, organizations, or individuals is to make as much profit as possible, then to offer something just for the sake of it seems to run completely counter to this contemporary philosophy of life.
A recent and interesting development is that there are now many in cyberspace who offer free content and downloads, information, e-books etc.  Some have a clear motive of enticing you to buy more (not necessarily a bad thing!), while others give and share because they understand the subtle principle that sharing brings benefit to both sides, and to give unconditionally actually means to receive.
Thankfully we hear of more and more organisations each day, usually at grass roots level, which exist for the good of everyone.  They may be not-for-profits, social enterprises or voluntary organisations, but they rarely hit the headlines.
The Brahma Kumaris, a not-for-profit organization, offers its services free of charge because its underlying philosophy is that spiritual knowledge belongs to everyone, it cannot be bought or sold.  Service from the heart is priceless, and money and spirituality do not mix well!  How can you put a price tag on something that does not belong to any individual human being to sell, but is meant for the benefit of each and every member of the human family?  And if one were to try to place a monetary value on something that can improve people’s lives so profoundly, no one would be able to afford it!
Volunteers around the world and in all walks of life give their time and efforts ‘for free’, it is not cos they are free, but because they have found their purpose.  We may instinctively place a low ‘value’ on a person’s time if that person is, for example, helping disadvantaged members of the community.  Contrast that with the six or seven-figure ‘worth’ of a top executive.  Which one is really making a contribution to the betterment of society?  And what is more likely to be remembered on that day when we meet our Maker?  That we maximized profits for a few shareholders, or that we acted with compassion and selflessness and helped those of our fellow brothers and sisters on this planet who needed our support?  In our attempt to find pleasure and happiness through money, we have been blinded by selfishness and greed to the real purpose of life.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with money, and it may make the world go around, but it also makes the world go crazy with its spin at the same time!  Hence do not confuse money with wealth, or wealth with success, or success with happiness.  It is evident that there are many rich people in the world who are unhappy and disappointed with themselves.  They may have all the comforts that life has to offer, but very little spirit to share with the world.  Imprisoned in their illusion of their wealth and success, many may use that money in an attempt to buy respect, support and their empty love.  Sadly, true ‘wealth of being’ eludes them.
In fact, to give anything, with an expectation of a return such as name, fame, praise and profit is not spirituality.  Giving with an expectation of a return is in fact not giving, but taking.  Can love be bought or bartered, can respect be retailed, or care purchased? Instead try giving others some time, attention, love, respect, assistance, support, or even just a smile, and just see how these small things can transform two people’s lives: theirs and yours!
If you are afraid of being taken advantage of because you give freely, then fear not.  When you realize you have an abundance of something, then to give is easy.  Imagine having an apple tree in your back yard.  To share those apples is easy knowing that you have more than enough for you plus your neighbours!  Let others take as much as they wish – ultimately you own the apple tree!
Learning to live by pure intention is the key to real charity and consequently, real happiness.  One small gift given with love and a pure heart is worth more than a million dollars.  At the end of the day, we will be judged for the quality and intention of our heart and not the quantity.  God loves those who have an honest heart, rather than pockets filled with wealth.
It is indeed true that on a deeper, spiritual level there is no such thing as ‘free’ in this world.  Each thought, word, deed or intention accumulates in your balance of credit or debit.  The Law of Karma is constantly at work and will give you a return of your every action, good or bad.  The good news is that a noble or elevated action will earn compound interest!  Not only do we accumulate positivity in our karmic bank account, but we also earn real happiness, joy, love, satisfaction, and an abundant life.  These are true riches, and they cost us literally nothing.
It’s Time… to appreciate what you get for free and appreciate those who give of their time freely.  At the end of the day there is nothing ‘free’, for everyone has a duty to share what they have received.  Learn to do something for free every now and then without seeking a return – your soul balance will multiply and your spirit will feel richer for it!
Share these thoughts!
It’s Time is spreading far and wide!  Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source – 
 'It's Time' by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London


A people free to choose will always choose peace
Ronald Reagan