Monday, December 15, 2008


The local Knights of Columbus did their annual door to door Christmas Basket Canned Food Drive yesterday and it got me to thinking about charity. There are two kinds of charity - physical and mental. Physical charity is the act of giving, be it food or money, to those you perceive as being less well off than yourself. Mental charity is the act of giving your fellow man the benefit of the doubt and thinking kindly toward them.

I think most people, at some point in their lives, have performed an act of physical charity. Donating clothes to a Salvation Army box, dropping a box or bag of food into the Food Bank bins at the grocers, even giving change to the homeless are all acts of physical charity. Giving is easy, and in some cases is done as a matter of course with no thought for those who will be receiving the charity.

It is the mental charity that I believe is lacking in this world. How many people actually think about those receiving their donations? If they do think of them do they think of them as lazy good for nothings? Perhaps it is not so with the giving of food or clothing, but I'm willing to bet that the majority of people who give change to strangers do not give out of the goodness of their hearts. Most people give to make themselves appear generous or they give to get rid of the beggar.

And there I go, being mentally uncharitable. I need to work on being more charitable toward other people, regardless of who they are or what they do. Would you join me in trying to be more charitable, both physically and mentally, toward the people around you? If we all be more charitable until the end of the year, maybe we can make a difference in the world.

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