What Are You Doing To Make 2017 A Good Year For All?
Give me what is mine.
And just to show me you care,
give me some of yours.
Can you share one of your two kidneys?
What is remarkable in 2017?
It is newsworthy around the world when a complete stranger donates one of their two healthy kidneys to someone who otherwise would die without it.
Charity, which Christians define as "the pure love of Christ," is the same charity as that shown when a man with two coats gives one to a man who has none.
Yet the idea of a man or a woman donating one of their two healthy kidneys is somehow above and beyond the value of a mere coat. Both examples could mean saving the life of another.
What would it take for you to donate one of you two healthy kidneys? It's a point to ponder.
Would you only do it if it was a family member who desperately needs it and yours matches their need? Would you only do it, if you knew you were going to die soon because you are old and can't really live much longer? Would the reasons for such a donation somehow make the donation of more worth, or less?
Not enough presents under your tree?
Whose living standard is the best?
We can go online right now and find out how our own "living standard" compares to someone else's living standard anywhere in the world.
Do we take pride when our own is in "The Top 10"?
Would that spur us to be more giving to the people of another country whose own living standard is in the lowest 10?
Would we justify that substantial difference with some rationale such as "We deserve it !"
Would we say the same rationale works, if we know that children in that area are dying from a lack of food, or water, or basic medicines? Could we look a grieving parent in the face, see their tears rolling down their cheeks, and think to ourselves simply: "That's their problem"?
With a refrigerator full, does it bother you that a neighbor's is empty?
Far away problems seem far away. Are there problems right next door, or just across town?
Did a parent ever suggest that you should eat all the food on your plate, because the starving children of Africa would love to have what you don't want to eat?
Did the thought occur to you that "They wouldn't want it by the time it got there!"
Today there are organized charities, from international organizations and churches, to small nonprofit groups that know and champion the needs of children and adults who have desperate needs for assistance. They can get the assistance where it is needed, but doing so takes money, or helpers, or caring by individuals and groups that are now merely observing from the sidelines.
The bigger the needs, the more likely they are to get publicity and attention. But there are smaller needs which are no less deserving, from the homeless and the malnourished, to the sick, and the lonely nearer to home.
Many in the country where I live have stopped joining groups such as those that focus on "doing good" because they "just don't feel at home with those folks" and the good they could do doesn't get done at all. Is it an excuse or justified? It's something to ponder when wondering what actions make a difference in this world of the needy far and near.
I've got what I need. Now leave me alone!
Is retirement more important than someone else's survival?
The spirit of providing for oneself has never entirely caught on, and even where it has the extent of the spirit seems more one of self-preservation, than one of concern for others.
There are religious doctrines that suggest that once we have earned enough for ourselves, we should continue working to assist in the welfare of others.
Yet there are commonly expressed feelings that people "on welfare" are all lazy bums who simply want to live off the hard work of others. The so-called human charity is simply not deserved because "Anyone who wants to can provide for themselves!"
That attitude ignores the truly needy, the sick, the abused, the orphans, and so many others who simply need aid in their circumstance in societies which have not yet mastered "universal prosperity".
Individuals forget the old adage that "There, but for the grace of God, go I."
Today we may be the fortunate ones. But houses and apartments burn down. Earthquakes and tsunamis strike. Storms destroy everything in sight, and even organizations such as the Red Crescent, the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the United Nations, find themselves unable to meet even the majority of the world's needs.
Many who know, know that "There is enough and to spare." But generally the "enough" is not where the "Insufficient" is. And, the desperate needs for help, are not where the fervent will to help exists. Moreover the fervent willingness to help is far outweighed by the desperate needs for help.
Because not everyone is willing to sacrifice some of their "plenty" to help with another's "too little."
Greed doesn't have to reach to King Midas proportions to be greed. Selfishness doesn't have to be obvious to exist. And covetousness doesn't have to involve theft in order to be a problem.
We all want a better world. We want a world in which everyone has enough, and no one need suffer or needlessly die.
The world gets better one individual at a time. It takes just one person who gives a little more, and one person who receives a little more. That's called love.
Turning the Christian saying around, the pure love of Christ is charity.
Christ himself said that there are two great commandments every Christian knows. They are to love God, and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Everything else is just a variation of those two great commandments. Thus, if you keep those two commandments, you will be keeping them all.
Best of all, you can't keep one of them without keeping them both at the same time.
What is the happiest home?
What can be the happiest world?
© 2017 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.