Today I was riding in one of New Delhi’s famous three wheeled autorickshaws.
The driver was a very good young man and said that he was working in this job due to family circumstances, but he had originally intended to study more and get a better job. He said that if he had a better job and more money then he could help society with social service.
Actually we can all do something regardless of our capacity. The charity of a beggar is in fact worth more than the charity of a rich person, because the beggar is making a greater sacrifice.
There is an incident in India’s epic tale, The Ramayana that illustrates this point well. In that story, the hero Rama had to build a bridge spanning a huge distance of ocean. Helping him were strong apes who carried boulders for the bridge’s construction. There was also a small squirrel who carried pebbles, out of love for Rama. The monkeys taunted the squirrel saying that his pebbles were useless. Rama intervened and said that the squirrel was working to his capacity and that his contribution was equally valuable.
Here is what my Guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti said about this:
“You know the story of the Rámáyańa. During construction of a bridge, the big monkeys carried large stones while the small squirrels brought only tiny grains of sand. Is there any difference between the carrying of tiny grains of sand by the squirrels on the one hand and the carrying of a whole mountain by Hanumán on the other? Both are equally valuable. You may be a small entity like a squirrel, but your existence is in no way insignificant.” So help others according to your capacity and don’t worry if you are not rich enough to be a famous philanthropist. Your heartfelt help made according to your own capacity is as good as a gift of one billion dollars.