It's about our community and our spirituality!

Never Too Late To Defend Too Little

The following is a comment to the article titled Kelly Rowland and Giving Deep

“Hi, while reading your comments above and with the fact that it is a little dated, I wanted, none the less, to give my point of view on it.
1) I think that most people that are involved money wise into charity will do so because of tax incentives.
2) Usually, the people more involved into charity work will give their time, more so than money. What do I mean by that? If you really believe in charity programs, you give 1/2 of day of your time a week at a given organization. These are the people that do not do it for tax purposes but because they believe in it, most of the time because they suffered themselves at one point in their lives.
3) Usually, people involved in charity work or donation will do it in the later part of their lives. Either because they will have the income to do so (money givers) or because they will have live through hardships and understand what a pair of helping hands can mean in a time of suffering.
4) Charity is relatively rare (ask all the non-profit organization around, they will tell you that there is a lot more demands than there are $ and valuable hands available). So regardless of the motive or the form of charity implication, I am all in favor to encourage it.
5) At 26 years of age, very few people are aware of their impact on society; they are busier trying to create their place under the sun than worrying about the people around them.
With all of these statements in place, I would commend the action of a young lady (26 years old at the time) for having the social conscience to get involved. May be it comes from her, maybe it comes from her entourage, but she does more at that age than most people do ever for charity. We should encourage it, not criticize it.


Thanks for the feedback Stephen,

But I think you’ve made some basic assumptions that don’t hold much water. Many charities do well because people give money. The American Red Cross isn’t the organization it is because is has a plethora of volunteers. The American Red Cross is the phenom because of the money it controls. The same is true for the United Negro College Fund. It’s not giving people labor to help them through college. It is giving money that it has collected from other people.

The same is true with church organizations. More people are trained to give money to their church, not their time. That’s why there are people running mega churches like Joel Olsteen, Joyce Myers, T.D. Jakes, and Pat Robertson. The only volunteering most people are doing for these churches is they’re volunteering to give their money. And people are indoctrinated into the act of giving from an early age. I can remember commercials of kids trick or treating for UNICEF or kids doing their fare share for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Remember, pennies count. From a very early age we were taught to be generous and give to charities whether or not we can use our donation as a tax right off. Your theory that only older people give money really is bogus.

And some of my earliest memories about my church experience when I was a kid was my parents giving me money for Sunday school. And when I was little, my family was hardly rich or well off. For the longest time we were a single income family of eight because mom was going to graduate school. No one would ever accuse us of being Rockefellers. And so your theory that only well off people give to charities is one that is truly off the mark.

All of this pretty much debunks your points. While you are ready to give people a pat on the back and kudos for having the social conscious to do anything, I really must disagree. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Those who have more should do more despite his or her age. While you might be thankful and commend anyone for having a social conscience to promote the idea that people should give away their old clothes, I would hold my applause for something slightly more noteworthy. After all, by your definition, legend says that Maria Antoinette had a social conscience. If people couldn’t afford bread she did make the suggestion that they should be allowed to eat cake. While you might be willing to encourage such thinking, I think people were looking for her to do just a bit more.

To say that we have a difference in opinion is an obvious understatement. I really don’t think we should be grateful to high profile celebrities who encourage others to give away shoes. On the contrary, my family regularly gives old clothing, shoes, etcetera to organizations like the Goodwill, the American Kidney Association, and the Purple Heart. Does this mean we have a social conscience? I doubt it. If anything we see it as an opportunity to get rid of some stuff and have somebody take it away for free.

Do I think my family and I deserve a standing ovation for giving away our old stuffs? Not at all. In fact, I would be embarrassed if somebody tried to give us some kind of recognition for giving away things that we simply wanted gone. If my old shoes wound up in the garbage it really would make little difference. By all means I am glad to help somebody else with my old things. But that act alone doesn’t mean I’ve done my socially conscience fair share and can now rest on my laurels. I can do more and I will. And I would appreciate others who have the same kind of philosophy.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Thoughts

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