“Do not stand on the high pedestal, take 5 cents in your hand and say, ‘Here, my poor man.’ But be grateful that the poor man is there, so that by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself. It is not the receiver that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in this world, and thus become pure and perfect.”

– Swami Vivekananda


Like every quote of Swami Vivekananda, this one too is timeless and is more relevant now that it ever was. What he means here is that one needs to have a pure heart while making any sort of charity. It should never be done to show the world how great or benevolent you are.

Swami vivekananda

This is seen aplenty in today’s times. Celebrities do this the most. They carry out some charity or help the needy on their special days like birthdays or even otherwise. However, they will inform the media beforehand about their act at the given place, so that the pictures of their so-called kind act gets splashed all across the news space. This, unfortunately, is not charity. It’s an act to massage your egos.

But it would be wrong to only blame celebrities for this. Even common citizens are found doing this a lot in today’s age of social media. With almost everyone equipped with a social media presence, common people donate either money or food packets to the needy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is done just to get more likes, reactions or followers on their social media, which is also nothing but an ego exercise.

At the same time, there are also some famous personalities who carry out charity without letting anyone know. This is what Swami Vivekananda means in this saying. He also states that we should consider ourselves blessed that we are getting a chance to do something for the betterment of the world, which will help us sleep peacefully at night.