The twentieth part of the A-Z series T is for Tithing.
Yes it is a risk to talk about Tithing. Many people shut down at the thought of it. Especially anyone who grew up amongst the televangelist scandals of the 1980’s. For those unfamiliar with the term tithing is the act of giving 10% of your total annual income to a church in order for them to run the church and provide valuable social services. Although church attendance is down the need for tithing is still a vital part of living in a civilized society and as such we must find ways to continue this important practice.
Times have changed and many individuals no longer attend church. In this case I recommend donating the 10% to a cause or a few causes that you are passionate about. Whether it be the arts, social services helping people in need more specifically children or the elderly, health issues or if you prefer you can give to a local foundation, community group, animal rescue or any of the many worthy non-profit groups that do good work for many worthy causes. The important part is to be able to provide these hard-working groups with the consistent financial stability they crave to be able to budget and focus resources to perform their important work.
Some causes that often are underfunded that need money are transitional programs for children who have turned 18 years of age and are no longer eligible for the foster care program. They are often left to desperate options in order to survive not given adequate time, resources or education to become financially self-sufficient.
Another great cause is to help those transitioning from prison. People who are charged with a felony and have served their time come out into the world facing the challenge of having a more difficult time becoming employed and therefore given the means to provide for their family in a legal manner. Programs which help to mentor ex-offenders and help transition them into a positive societal role help dramatically in keeping them from falling back into toxic relationships and give them a path to be productive members of a community and keep them out of jail.
Veterans comprise another group often underfunded for their many needs. Programs to help them transition from the very different world of war back to civilian life can help many veterans. In addition to their needs regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the various challenges both physical and otherwise that are a result of answering the call to protect our country in war. The challenges faced by warriors and their families are many and they could use the financial help to run some very good programs and make them available to more people.
These are just a few causes yet there is so much need and it can be for whatever your interest is supporting your local little league, music programs, feeding the elderly, supporting a local animal shelter, whatever your interest.
Some people have much more time than money. In this case a person can tithe their time. To help support local causes and improve their community. Everyone has something to contribute. It is through tithing, through sacrifice that a person can feel a connection to something bigger than they are alone. They can feel the amazing feeling of purpose and contribution.
In addition, there is a unique opportunity to make the world better and do something about all the challenges and frustrations we see in the world. This is a great gift not only to those who receive, it is also a benefit for those who give. It’s powerfully empowering and a hope filled feeling that can become addictive especially when working with well run agencies that are accountable and show results. Each person especially when coming together with others of vision, passion and focused action really can make a difference.
That knowing that you can leave the world better than you found it, which is my motto, can lead to a very satisfying and fulfilling life experience.