Continuing the theme of positive blogs, I have a collage of thoughts about generosity.
Our church made a call to establish a COVID discretionary fund. From time to time some people need help meeting their needs. They may be very hard-working people, who through no fault of their own, face difficult times. They need help and the church needs to be there for them.
The request made me consider a challenging thought – when are my wants more important than the needs of others?
Yes, Jeny and I worked hard, saved, and sacrificed. I was also blessed to have had parents who did the same and left us an inheritance. Our needs are met multifold.
But still, when are Jeny and my wants more important than the needs of others?
We worked hard but had advantage of intelligence over the poor in spirit. We must be generous and care for the handicapped and those without the means to care for themselves.
In addition to Special Olympics, we support L’Arche (French for the Ark of the Covenant) as our charities for the care of people with intellectual challenges. L’Arche is a world-wide organization. The idea is to have people without handicaps open a home to those with needs. For the non-handicapped person, the activity is a calling not an occupation.
In Mobile, the L’Arche community is a wonderful community, where people with limitations are given love and the opportunity to be human. If you do not contribute to a group supporting the mentally handicapped, I encourage you to see if there is a L’Arche community near you.
We worked hard but we had advantages over those without families. I have been remiss in considering how difficult life would be if both parents die and do not have family to help or if a child is abandoned. We are told to care for orphans. I need to improve in this area. We have supported various children’s homes in the past, but we need to be more systematic in our concern.
When I think of generosity I always remember — to whom much is given much is expected. I do not feel guilty about having an abundance. I do not feel selfish pride about it either. I feel thankful. I feel the responsibility to give generously.
We have all heard it is more blessed to give than to receive and that is something I believe. But as I have aged, I have had to face the reality that when I need help, I need to be accepting and thankful and not reticent. No old person wants to depend on others, but the reality is — I come to situations in which I need help. Rather than bemoaning the situation, I should be thankful I have family and friends who give generously to me. I will continue to seek to be independent but welcome help when needed.
One final note — generosity is not always about money. Generosity is an attitude of giving that applies to time as well as love, joy, listening, being kind, service and much more. Generosity is an attitude of the heart not the billfold.