I have spent much thought and anguish in defining and explaining my views of charity and karma. I feel my scepticism has kept me questioning my own views. Challenging them effectively, sometimes to my demise. But I have to move on.
I rest on the decision that charity, whether selfish or altruistic (if it exists), is in fact a good thing. Of course helping someone else is a good thing. But now I come across some more problems.
Who is worthy of my charity? Time is precious. I only have so much of it. And who knows how much time I have. I certainly don’t. I do not have an endless pool of resources. My corporeal being slowly decays, entering biological entropy. Deterioration. My aerobic capacity diminishes each day. And as Chuck Palanuik expressed through one of the most controversial protagonists in my literature knowledge,
You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
-The narrator/Tyler Durden
But before I begin to depress everyone (and myself) I will return to my point. My charity costs me time, precious non-refundable, doesn’t effect your statutory rights, time. So who is deserving of it?
Charity, much like everything in this world, requires time. Maybe life can be defined as your allocation of time to different events through choices that your conscious makes. Either way, I need to form some form of selection process to ensure the allocation I choose for charity, is effective and not wasted. If I drop a penny in a collection box, will it actually help someone? Will that penny contribute to the good of someone else in need? Or will it be absorbed into administration costs. Would my 13 seconds of; wallet opening, pocket searching, penny clutching, arm reaching, fingers loosening, penny dropping, time, be any use? Would it be appreciated?
Will the act outweigh the result. Is the choice I have made to give charity, the important part? As long as I mean well? I have, in my own head, concluded that the actual reasoning behind giving, can be varied and maybe harbouring not the best of intentions. It all could be very selfish. So the act in itself, in my theory, is rendered useless.
By elimination the concept of importance behind the act, it puts emphasis on the result.
This I believe to be the distinction. The result of your charity is the core. The real reason for your charity. So on judgment of allocation, in regards to time, the result should bear the test. Will the result be worth it? Will the result be worth your time? Your precious time?
Your intentions could be great. You could envisage fields of lush crop, enough spades for thousands of wells, a plethora of medical vials. And as your forearm releases signals along the nerves to the thenar muscle in your thumb, to relax, increasing the gap to your index finger, releasing that robust little metallic coin, into the hands of the wide eyed, wide grinned, lady outside of Tesco, you could be happily daydreaming of water dripping into the accepting mouth of a famished child. This does, in no way, effect the actual outcome of your generosity.
It may seem all very utilitarian, but I assure you, kind reader, that I will not be descending into that flawed way of thinking (sorry guys).
When it comes to charity, the actual effect of this charity is the crucial element. Especially when defining what time to allocate to the actual act of charity.
I feel that when charity is direct, it is in it’s purest form.
There is no squinty eyed, scrunched nose, disappointment when drinking weak Ribena at a friends house. There is no dilution. There is just your time, directly given to someone in need. So to the fortunate among us that find ourselves in areas of the world that have been dealt poor cards by the cosmic blackjack dealer, whatever time we can spare, should be provided in the service of these less fortunate individuals.
Whether or not we expect a strong hand next. And no matter how much time we think we have left.