Charity is an important component of a well-rounded life. Charitable people are typically happier, healthier, and live more fulfilling lives. However, charitable acts vary from person to person, which brings the question: What is considered charity? To me, charity is made up of three components. Let’s take a look at each component and why it defines charity.

Helping Others In Need

The first component is probably the most obvious part of charity: helping others in need. This can range vastly, from a victim of a natural disaster to a mother who needs babysitting while she’s at work. No matter the scenario, for an act to be considered charity, I believe you need to help someone who is in need of assistance. Helping others who are not in need may be kind, but not charitable.

Helping Others Who Want Help

Some people do not want help, whether they need it or not. It could be a matter of pride, or it could be another reason altogether. Still, helping those who do not want help is a recipe for disaster. That kind of situation could cause unnecessary stress, which definitely makes it a non-charitable act. To avoid this kind of situation, it’s important to ask if your help is wanted before placing yourself in a situation. This is particularly important when you’re helping in an unofficial capacity, such as helping a neighbor with yard work or assisting a coworker with a big project.

Helping, Not Causing Problems

Finally, when you help someone in a charitable way, you have to add something to the task, not subtract from it. For example, someone who does not know the first thing about painting a room might not want to offer to do it for an elderly neighbor. They may wind up with items ruined and may need to hire a professional to fix it. If your expertise is lacking and causes extra problems, I would not consider your help a charitable act.

Ultimately, charity can be big or small, but I believe it should meet this criteria. When you’re looking for ways to add charity to your life, don’t be concerned about the scope of the project. Instead, make sure you’re meeting each of these requirements, and you’ll soon find that charity is a regular part of your day.