Two recent occurrences set me thinking about the new lucrative field that I will just call giveBizMess and the new meaning of words like 'giving','charity' and their XXI st century mutations 'development causes' and 'NGO sector' etc..
A quick glance at history and quotes from the world over read like:
The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it. Francis Bacon
If you haven't got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. Bob Hope
Charity never humiliated him who profited from it, nor ever bound him by the chains of gratitude, since it was not to him but to God that the gift was made. Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The list is endless, but there is one common thread and that is that giving is a one way street and not a business transaction with strings tied to it.
My half a century journey on this planet has shown me time and again that when we humans are uncomfortable with something we tend to marginalise it and kick it off the mainstream. Hence one who does not play by today's rule is at once branded as 'silly' 'stupid' and more of the same.
Now to come back to the two incidents that started this stream of thought, one is the unending stream of donations tagged 'tsunami', whereby people or institutions have unleashed a wave of giving bigger than a tsunami wave, and that is also likely to have as negative an impact.
The second incident is the one that began by a simple offer to help a child and has also unleashed a rather incomprehensible stream of events where one child's case has brought to light the ugly or rather sad connotations that charity assume in our day and age.
I think one needs to be 'charitable' in dealing with these issues or otherwise one is at risk of being drawn into the givBizMess Syndrome where the one who gives takes on the bigger role defeating the act of giving itself.
What a bit of humour would lead one to ask is:
How come people who normally do not find the time, inclination or need to part with a few coins for simple day-to-day activities such as education, nutrition or old age care - to name a few - to people around them, acquire an impatient eagerness to do the same when a tsunami (word unknown till 26-12-04) hits lands they will never see?
How come one child's surgery assumes so much importance that money that could have almost paid for one such surgery is spent on phone calls, when a simple request for help for two little girls needs a Board of Directors to meet?
This is the result of giveBizMess, where what was intended to be an almost subliminal act becomes a pure commercial activity where every one wants its pound of flesh.
Giving is an act of love, an act where the only reward you can truly seek is the one you have to look for deep in the eyes of those you sought to help.
But it requires you to make the effort of looking into those eyes and the terrible risk of losing yourself in them!
note: the word bizMess is the brainchild of my friend DV; i just thought it fitted the picture like a glove!