I have been thinking a lot recently about giving and charity. It’s the season that brings it on: planning gifts for loved ones, the Salvation Army bell ringers in front of every store, the local food bank entering its busiest season, the holiday Heifer International catalog coming in the mail, and lots of toy drives. My art studio looks like Santa’s workshop today as I put together presents for “my” Pine Ridge kids, (there is still a need and time remaining to help the Pine Ridge Holiday Project). I adore this time of year and feel so lucky to be able to give my love and offer my help, to improve someone’s situation and maybe even make them smile.
Then today, I was reading PostSecret and saw this:
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all day, because my first thought was “Why waste your time feeling guilty when there is so much good you could be doing with that money?” In case you haven’t heard the latest numbers, the average income of the 1% (the top 1 percent of US households) in 2011 is $1,530,773. I would love to get in contact with the above person and give them some ideas about how they might use that money to ease their guilt.
It’s clear to me that there are two charities that anyone can feel good about helping, no matter what your political or religious leanings: feeding hungry people and helping kids. Eating is such a basic need, and I would hope if I were in such a bad state that I couldn’t feed myself and I were hungry, someone would give me a meal. And kids? No kid is responsible for the situation they are in, so if it’s a bad one, if they need help and the people who are supposed to be responsible aren’t willing or able to do it, we should.
I have enough love, and I have enough money and some time to spare, so during this season of love and gratitude and joy, and also of great pain and suffering, I commit, over and over, to giving my heart away.
- How are you giving your heart away this season? What might you suggest to someone struggling to find a way to give?