A man of character loves his fellowmen. He makes a friend of an enemy, a brother of a stranger. He forgets all divisions of caste, creed and community. His actions unite all men, making them love each other as brothers and sisters and children of God. He is charitable and loving. In daily life we come across people who do not realise the importance of love and charity. Charity and love go hand in hand and both mean sacrifice. Without sacrifice man cannot be said to be charitable. All great men and saints have preached mankind to love one another. They have preached charity. Charity means love – love for God and love for one’s fellowmen. What greater virtue can there be than charity? We can show our love and charity in many ways. We can show our love in thought, word and deed. If we are charitable, we will never make a difference between one man and another. We will treat all men justly as we would wish to be treated by them. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” should be the motto of your life. Almost each child is first taught how to be kind and charitable in his own home. They say, “ Charity begins at home.” He is taught how to make little sacrifices to please his parents, brothers and sisters. He is also shown how an unkind word hurts another person. He is also taught how to share with brothers and sisters. After he has learnt to be kind and charitable to people at home, he learns to help them as well. The following story will illustrate the true meaning of love and charity. One day a rich man was passing through a jungle. He had plenty of money and some valuables with him. At a very deserted place a gang of theives appeared and robbed him all his money and other valuables. They beat him very badly and knocked him down. The rich man was thoroughly shaken by this incident. He lay almost dead. As he lay there a poor woodcutter passed that way. Seeing the wounded man helpless and unconscious, he lifted him up and gently placed him on his donkey. He carried him and nursed him to good health. He gave him hot and wholesome meal. He tried to do every thing to make him feel comfortable and happy. His wife gladly did what she could do. The woodcutter and his wife did not know the rich man, yet they helped him because he was in need of it. They did it out of charity. Charity, however, does not mean just doing your duty. It means much more. If a blind man is to cross a road and every passer- by thinks, that it is not his duty but there is something beyond the call of duty and that is love and concern for others known or stranger to you. It is the love for the fellowmen that makes a charitable person help others in need. This is charity in everyday life. Some people believe ‘charity’ is just alms giving. The true meaning of charity in the words of a great thinker is, “ we are to relieve the distressed, to put the wanderer onto his way and to divide our bread with the hungry, which is but the doing of good to ourselves, for we are only several members of one great family.” Guru Nanak said, “If you want to earn the pleasure of God, be charitable.” He would often visit poor people and partake of meals with them. All the religions say that we should be charitable. Helping the poor and needy is a duty of every human being. Human beings are the foremost amongst all the creatures. Therefore, it is our duty to look after all the creatures. Always remember that ‘love for fellowmen leads to eternal happiness’. Show generosity and do not expect anything in return.