What are your thoughts on charity?
Fear prevents it. The notion of lack. That it’s possible to lose what we have. This is true. How did one come to see themselves as having gained something?
The much acclaimed standard of living. What is that based on?
Various measures of material goods? Material goods exist. Are people material goods?
No. Why not? Honestly, I can’t say since they’re often treated as such.
Why do we have the notion of charity? … Hmm, sometimes silence is an act of charity. Allowing one their peace and space from an event, but we define silence as a non thing. How valuable is a non-thing?
Priceless. Perhaps that is the essence of charity. Not evaluating the “price” of things. How often do people abstain from that?
Seldom. I know it’s always in my head. I myself consider prices only to the degree that they might sway my choice. Most prices I cannot pay of my own means.
Why are you charitable? I am charitable, because I am not the source. All that arises comes from no single source, and inevitable will go to no single source. So the most I can have of anything is a hand in directing how it will be distributed. Sort of like writing is distributing ink across a page.
For some reason, the more we have the more difficult that seems to be. People come to identify with what they have making their life a long record of little deaths. I would prefer instead to live what there is of life, and not entangle my experience with material based definitions. Regrettably though, other barriers can arise even without acknowledging the primacy of material concerns.
As a child, I came to a conclusion about my life. Misguided as it might have been, this was in my early adolescence. Socially, I seemed to struggle. So I determined that I would allow myself the life inside of me. One thing lead to another and that refuge was denied me. I can think of nothing more fundamental than ones internal integrity or autonomy. Can you?
Yet, this itself can be denied you. Nature can see fit to disallow this. So when it comes to relating to a process of exchange, well… The concept of withholding anything just seems very strange to me, very foreign. Like a dog growling at you, because you are standing too near a hydrant it prefers to pee on. Perhaps charity is the resolution to allow others the welcome to be as they are.
You are in it’s territory? You are in space it has decided is its territory, yes.
And charity is moving away so the dog can do its business? Yes. Perhaps the height of charity being the willingness to distance yourself from anything that someone designates as territory. Even social roles can be territory, self images. One must not spit in the communion wine even if your own spirit is reviled by those who commune. Charity is loosely publicly defined as a practice of decency. There are those of us who cannot comprehend fully nor naturally practice what society considers decency.
Perhaps a cultural icon of charity would be Mother Teresa. Yet did she cling to a role she supposedly held? Did she go around insisting that people acknowledge her sanctity?
Another example of charity would be Ghandi. Another would be Malcolm X, at least in his later years. Martin Luther King… Humanity has known charity. Did one of these claim their specialness? Insist that their efforts be respected?
I myself practice charity, because it’s the only thing I can actually have. I respond to people and situations in my environment as my observations would suggest is most appropriate, nothing more. If I differ from others, it’s just in my inability to comprehend other peoples world views. Medical types would say it’s my lack of empathy, my lack of theory of mind.
Why do you practice charity? Be well friends.