乐善好施 Be Glad to Give to Charities
Being glad to give to charities, also called in China "doing good deeds" and "righteous deeds" is closely linked to outstanding qualities such as sympathy, justice, kindness, and warmheartedness, and is a traditional virtue of the Chinese nation.
Chinese have always considered it a happy deed to help others, and taking the initiative to help those in difficulties with sincere sympathy. This kind of help makes no distinction between those who are relatives or friends and those who are not, and requires no repayment. People deem it a noble obligation to help others, during which they become happy and thus promote and perfect their soul and morals of their own.
More than 2,000 years ago, Han Xin, who later became a general of the Han Dynasty, was so poor that he couldn't afford to eat. One day, an old woman washing clothes beside a river offered him some food. Han Xin was very grateful and said that he would reciprocate her kindness in the future. The old woman said, "I offered you food not to obtain your repayment." The old woman even did not tell Han Xin her name, but her virtue of being ready to help others has been handed down from generation to generation.
When Fan Zhongyan of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) was a local official, one of his subordinates died of illness and left behind a young wife and two children. Fan Zhongyan gave financial aid to them. Encouraged by Fan, other officials also showed their generosity. Their act in helping those in distress had a positive influence on the offspring of Fan Zhongyan. His son, Fan Yaofu, inherited this virtue and always helped others.
Many overseas Chinese or foreign citizens of Chinese origin generously give financial aid and donate money to impoverished areas in order to provide educational opportunities and support and help those who want to learn. Their good deeds and virtues have won them respect and the love of people at home and abroad.
Virtues of being happy to do good and give alms, helping those in distress and aiding those in peril, and feeling happy to help others, have taken root in the hearts of the people in present China. It has become a common practice that whenever there is a problem, assistance comes from all quarters.