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February 5, 2017 / Congau

Helping the World

Whatever you give to the world, you give of yourself. A true gift is a sacrifice.

The rich and well fed man who transfers a fraction of his abundance to charity scarcely gives anything. The world does not need our surplus and our leftovers; it needs us.

Suppose you, wealthy as you are, donate a thousand dollars, ten thousand, a million, to a charity organization. Well, surely they need the money more than you do, so you cannot really go wrong, but your act of generosity disappears into anonymity and may not reach a real individual.

The problem is not that it is wasted. Let’s suppose every cent is well spent on effective projects. Schools and hospitals are built; new irrigation systems and production facilities are constructed. It is all well and good, but there is no human connection between giver and receiver, and it is not even clear who they are. Any donator is only one out of many and the beneficiaries are a faceless mass. Even quite a large sum of money may not be essential for a project and no individual is a necessary receiver. Someone, anyone or no one cares and the person cared for is not a person. That is not the real meaning of charity and it is certainly not love.

Love is sacrifice from a person to a person.

To help the world is to be a real human being who gives a part of himself to other real human beings. It is not an abstraction, it is work.

It is hard work and most of us fall short. Giving money away is better than doing nothing, but we cannot buy a clear conscience.

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