Helping Others

December 10, 2007

I read the following passage in Paul Johnson’s column in Forbes magazine. 

Create happiness and satisfaction by creating jobs.  And not just paid occupations – all governments do that, often by  the million – but geniune jobs that justify themselves, have a real purpsose and longevity.  The great 12-century Jewish sage Maimonides wrote that charity is a blessing, and we must all exercise it if we can.  But the finest form of charity is to enable a poor man to support himself with honor and usefulness.

A businessman who can create useful, well-paid and secure jobs is doubly blessed, by the individual he makes self-supporting and by society he renders more secure.  He helps himself, too, for as Maimonides says, there is joy in lifting people out of want, not by alms but on a permanent basis.

This is from Johnson’s column titled, “Pursuing Success is Not Enough,” which was published in the Forbes 2008 Investment Guide

I remember two charities that helped me as a child.  The first was the reduced price school lunch program.  The second was Reading is Fundamental (R.I.F.).  For lunch I usually chose to brown bag PBJ sammies rather than pay the special price.  However, I so looked forward to the days when we got to choose a book to take home from the R.I.F. table.  Sort of how Stanley on The Office looks forward to pretzel day.

This passage from Mr. Johnson struck a chord with me.

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