Be honest – charity is often selfish. We gather under the waving banner of the latest cause to show what good people we are. I’ve done it – I sent my donation, bought the T-shirt and the magnet is on my fridge.
Technology makes it easier than ever to get the good high from doing good. With a few clicks I can share some money, and then share that I shared on my social-media-du-jour. I get immediate validation that I am, indeed, a worthwhile person. All the ‘likes’ tell me so.
Unfortunately, the help I need to give is around the corner. There’s a family shivering in a beaten down trailer. A can of corn is a treasure to them. A frayed blanket discarded means a warm sleep for the kids. They are too proud to ask for help and they don’t want to be the next charity case on the news. They just want to survive.
If I creep up in the night and leave a bag of groceries on their porch, I think I will have done more good then giving away thousands to some far off country. I would know it’s actually going to the hungry, not being resold on the black market or paying for office supplies. I know these hungry people.
It’s easy to donate to some far off cause with a click, but sometimes we need to step away from the glass, and help someone closer to home. By helping, I mean real help – hunger can be in the mind and soul as well as the stomach and none of us are immune.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Note: UnderGlass is a photo commentary series on technology as filter that is between us and reality. We go beyond the looking glass every minute, interacting in ways never possible before, while the immediate world continues to spin around us, often unseen. This series is a commentary rather than a condemnation or commendation.
UnderGlass is also the name of a children’s book site, underglassbooks.com, which is the place to visit for excellent kid lit.