Thursday, August 09, 2012

Like Justice, Charity is Blind

"A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog."
- Jack London

So there's this video that has been making the rounds in Facebook last week and has probably gone viral by the time this post is up. It's a video taken from a car during the time Gener (Typhoon Saola) was in the country, which showed a lady stopping to give a naked child her coat before hurrying away to find cover. The video is only over half a minute long, but it's enough to make me question a lot of things about myself.

That clip made me wonder what I would have done if I was in her place, and I would have to admit that I'm ashamed of what I'd answer. I am troubled by the fact that despite my efforts in trying to make myself a better individual, I would not have conceived such an act of random kindness.

I guess feeling guilty is a sign that I'm not as charitable a person as I thought I was. Sure, I'd give some amount to some charity every once in a while, but I never imagined myself giving up something I need for someone who needs it more than I do just as spontaneously as she did.

I feel guilty because there's an aspect of selfishness I think I'd find very hard to defeat and that there are people out there who would go out of their way to do sacrifices for others who they've never even met or could ever repay them for what they've done.

I feel guilty because deep down, I envy those people who practice charity even if there are no eyes to validate their acts. These people are the ones who truly don't expect anything in return and it's these rare acts which show me that maybe my general sense of misanthropy might be misplaced after all.

I guess I've become tired and jaded of seeing people who do good deeds for the sake of praise or even for the sake of an audience seeing said deeds. It got a reaction out of us because admit it or not, we live in a society so earthly and materialistic that such deeds seem rare or unusual even to the best of us. I have this hope that she should remain anonymous, so that her act could merely be an embodiment of the fact that the righteous still walk amongst us, even if we do not see it.

I guess that video depicts the very essence of charity. I does not need publicity. It does not need judgement from the eyes of others. It is not done for the sake of being a source of inspiration. It does not need a reason to justify some past mistake, affirm one's sense of morality or bolster one's faith in the divine or in humanity.

I guess true charity happens when one does something to uplift some other person's human condition in the conviction that the act justifies itself to be worthy of personal sacrifice.

I could only hope that one day, I know that I'd have the decency to truthfully know that I'd have done the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment