Thoughts on the problem of charity

Originally, I thought charity was good.  But, as I grow older, I’m starting to see that it is not as good as it appears.  I’m not saying its all bad.  It isn’t.  But it isn’t the good wholesome thing I was taught it was.   Everywhere I turn I see people taking advantage of it.  In some respects, charity has become a system made up of a bunch of people who are doing nothing but ‘scamming’ other people.  As a result, it seems to me that charity should be performed with an attitude of suspicion. 

Why? 

For a number of reasons:

  • Dependence.  Charity creates a condition where people are made dependent on that charity.  It can and has led to something like a permament ‘welfare’ type of situation.
  • Abuse.  Charity creates a condition where people can misuse and abuse it.  That is to say, people take advantage of charity.  Because people are offering something they take it because they can, whether they need it or not.
  • Illusion.  Charity creates a condition where people who give it are disillusioned, blinded by the ‘good deed’ they are doing.  As a result, it has a tendency to become a blind act.  I’ve seen many people who are so blinded by their ‘good deed’ that they cannot see that they are being taken advantage of.
  • Other motives.  Charity has been a means a means to ‘convert’ or change people.  Often, charity is a prelude to trying to change people to your ways.  It has also been used as a tool or ‘weapon’ to make people support you (as the U.S. often does).  It’s also been used to make one ‘look good’.  It very often becomes a good Public Relations tool.  Charity having other motives is seen a lot with religion and politics.  

In short, what I see is a long standing abuse and misuse of charity.  Not only are people abusing it but the people giving it are abusing it as well (by being disillusioned by it). 

I understand charity means well.  I also know that, under the right conditions, its a great thing.  But the question is not the act of charity but if its performed under the right conditions.  It seems to me that the reasons why charity is given is more important than that charity is given. 

Some of the ‘right reasons’ that I see are:

  • Charity is only a temporary help.  It should not be given for long periods of time.  In addition, people should not to have to depend on it.  If people depend on charity then charity has failed.
  • Charity should be given to those who need the help.  It shouldn’t just be handed out to people.  Careful scrutiny should be given to who receive charity.
  • Charity should not be looked at as some ‘divine’ act that makes someone holy.  To me, charity is a service meant in the interest of helping people.  It’s very important to not be blinded by the ‘good deed’ of charity. 
  • Charity should be looked at as only a form of help.  There should be no other motive beyond that.  The reasons why charity is being given to someone needs to be looked at very carefully.  If it is not being given for help alone then it probably shouldn’t be given at all.

It seems that one has to be careful with any form of charity they perform.  A person needs to look at why they are giving it and to whom its being given.

People asking for money on the streets aren’t always sincere.  I’ve seen the same people year after year with signs saying “Stranded.  Need help.”   Other people try to pull your sympathy strings by writing “veteran” or “God bless” on their signs.  I even known people who had used signs which says “Homeless.  Need help.” to make money!  I hear many stories of people offering to buy ‘poor homeless’ people food and being denied . . .

Many charitable organizations aren’t as charitable as it may seem.  I’ve heard of many who, if they become big, the people in charge increase their wages!  Also, many people in the organization will often start to take some of the money, bit by bit, so that, by the time it reaches the people who need it, there’s very little left.  Also, the people who get the charity often misuse it anyways. 

The charity government gives, such as Welfare, are often nothing but a means of some people to take advantage of it.  Because a lot of this is motivated by policy, its the policy that determines who gets it.  This means that, often, the people who really need it don’t get it. 

Aid to other countries by the government is not often what it seems.  It is often misused by the people who receive it.  Sometimes, people in charge hoard it all, making its effects almost useless.  Not only that, it can lead to various social and political problems.  A country without, say, much money can go into great internal conflict when money is given to them as aid.  Something like a power struggle can take place because of it.  Aid can also cause damage to countries as it becomes one countries culture and ways affecting another country.  The past has shown that this can have devastating effects (cultures have been destroyed as a result of ‘aid’).

All this shows that charity is not automatically good.  It also shows that charity isn’t always the best thing to do.  With charity comes much responsibility and consideration.  There must be a wisdom in how a person dispenses and gives charity. 

This entry was posted in Current affairs and events, Government and politics, Religion and religious stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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