Charity is one of the best and most sacred words and concepts. Charity must be an act of humility, not an action to promote yourself or benefit in any way. I sometimes wonder, what exactly is philanthropy nowadays? Is it maybe a hypocritical act or an act of assistance to people who are in real need?
There are people who are willing to offer a plate of food and a few clothes to our needy fellow people. In this way they actually sacrifice personal time and money but if you ask them or praise them for their actions, they will say that they are happy to give something away and answer that they just do their duty and nothing more than that.
And you really know that their response is sincere, since they are not interested in acting and pretending to be good and humble people. They are good and humble indeed and they do not feel the need to cry it out right and left, nor to add their actions in their resume.
What charity and philanthropy are all about
I can tell you for sure that there is another face of philanthropy, if you can call it like that. I have experienced it a lot in my life and most probably you have too. It’s all around us. Besides sincere people who want to help men and women in Europe that are in great need, there are also many others around the rest of the world, who simply have turned charity into fashion. These people act like they are actually caring, but in fact they really are not.
They usually have plenty of money to spend here and there and like to accept congratulations and be praised all their time by others, either they know them, or either if they don’t. In this way they build the profile of a good person or a great benefactor, that usually belongs to the upper society. It is no coincidence that in several voluntary organizations the members of the board are well off and of the high society.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that a lot of wealthy people do not pretend, they like what they do, they spend a lot of their income and fortune and they do it for a charity in Europe, not for business and promotion. But most really don’t. They just pretend and their intentions are not sincere. Those who have good intentions act without advertising their actions and that’s the correct thing to do.
Charity in action
Nowadays the phenomenon of poverty is increasingly growing around the world and this fact has also awakened the sleeping consciousness of people, who show moral support to those who face practical difficulties in their everyday life, lacking even the most basic to stay alive and healthy. Various clubs, associations, even the breast cancer awareness association, institutions and individuals remain active at this level, mainly collecting and distributing clothes and food to people in need, and in many cases even money, giving valuable help to the poorest people.
I am really not a man of church. Actually I consider myself an atheist, but I cannot not acknowledge the fact that the Church has been helping a lot of people in need even those fantastic doctors that do procedures like gastrojejunostomy for taking away fat help people do so, and make those individuals feel more better and confident in themselves. Of course it is using the money and help from ordinary people like me who share a part of what they own and work as volunteers in their free time. Charity has indeed been an integral part of not only Christianity but mostly all caring religions around our planet and it really helps a lot. Indeed every help is valuable from wherever it may come from.
The example of Greece
Things have radically changed in Greece during the last 5-6 years. The economic crisis hit our country in great force, creating many problems for people that once lived very happily and didn’t have to struggle to survive. In just a few months thousands of companies could no longer be viable, which led to their closure and even more thousands of people being left without a job.
I was one of those people who lost their jobs, part of the 25% of unemployed people in Greece. Fortunately for me and my family, I was able to find a new job quickly enough, in less than a year and do not really face any serious problems like other people do now.
There are of course families that experience serious problems, where all members are unemployed and they do not even have enough to just survive. In this time of crisis unemployment allowances have been severely been cut down, and so have pensions. Therefore, even people who somehow manage to have a source of income, remain in the brink of poverty, since their expenses far outweigh this small income they may have.
An increasing number of people are losing their own homes and property because they cannot afford property taxes. This is an irony, since they even have to pay an annual tax for their own house and if they cannot the money, which is a common situation, that house is confiscated from them and they are left homeless and without money and a job on the street. Many suffer the effects of this hardship and depression and anxiety disorders, such as GAD: Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are on the increase.
The economic situation in the country does not look good or just promising. Things can surely go much worse in the future but certainly not better than they are right now. Therefore, I suspect that there are going to be far more people needing help in the near future. Fortunately, more people now share their love and part of their belongings.
There are clubs and groups of people who cook healthy meals and delicious food daily and distribute it to homeless and poor people, social groceries are created in every city where families in need can get food and clothing for free every week of month, and so many volunteers and not profit organizations are helping out those suffering in the best way they can.
Much remains to be done though. Just remember that the money you give to someone who is in real need is generally worth much more that a wealthy person who simply gives for show.