How much is your conscience?
We all have a price. What's yours?
The rattling of collection boxes, heart-tugging adverts, high street 'chuggers', and a million other good causes, charity is all around us, it’s on every corner, we’ve become accomplished at the High Street slalom in our 'natural path' to avoid the next smiling, hi-vis clad student, just wanting to ‘have a chat’ before committing our bank details to their tablets.
Every good cause, is simply that, a good cause, some align with our own values and beliefs. Some may touch us emotionally because of personal events and experiences, some just catch us at the right time.
Eventually, one of them will hit the target and make us feel like we’re doing the right thing. Our conscience has been paid for and we’re happy to keep paying £2 a month for that peace of mind.
Charity starts at home, an often spouted saying of which, the underlying value is truly worthy. I am not sure that it means that, if you’re going to donate cash, then give it to someone you know, a relative or neighbour. Everyone’s notion of home varies greatly. Yours may be the four walls that house your family, your street, your town, your region, or the country you live in? I think it’s a great deal closer than any of those.
Charity is in forgiveness. Forgiving those that that have hurt you, either directly or not. Forgiveness is a real thing, it's tangiable. It has an influence on every individual and really does affect the way we lead our own lives, it really does affect our happiness. Hanging on to negative feelings towards another does not harm that person, it only corrodes the self, from the inside.
Dropping a few coins in a bucket, setting up a direct debit for a few pounds a month, does so much more than just distributing a small percentage to the people who really need it. As well as being easy, it buys your conscience and enables your 'Pay as you go' absolution. On you go with your life, happy in the knowledge you’ve done your bit and all your social debts are cleared.
I am not having a go at anyone who gives to charity, it’s brilliant that you part with your hard-earned coin in the action to help others less fortunate than you. My point is if we are charitable souls and we truly want to help make a difference to people’s lives, then we really ought to do something about it. Go out and make a difference. You don’t have to volunteer half-way across the world in countries torn apart by war or natural disasters. There are plenty of charity shops, soup kitchens, food banks and community projects that will rip your arm off in exchange for a few hours a week.
Or, just maybe you could embark on giving with forgiveness and see how that goes?
I was inspired to write this article after another heart-to-heart conversation with a friend. He is divorced and remarried, he won custody of his daughters, but still feels incredible hatred towards his ex. So much so that he constantly wishes her harm or at least a tsunami of bad luck to reign down on her. He is bitter and continues to blame her for all his misfortunes and bad decisions. I have suggested that if he were to simply contact her and tell her she is forgiven, and that he can truly accept that. Then he can continue to grow and convert all the negative energy he generates into positive energy that he can feast upon for himself. His hatred for his ex has no effect whatsoever upon her. The only person it affects is him and it's he that is doing of this.
Many years ago, I took the path of forgiveness, and stopped blaming others for my own shortcomings. I took responisibility and dealt with the things I was able to and left alone the stuff I could not affect***************
Once we forgive others, we start to free ourselves up. We stop with all the hatred when we realise that ‘having a problem’ with an ex serves no purpose at all - it’s all just negative energy - time spent wishing ill of others, is time you can spend working on the positive aspects of you. In a way, forgiveness is terribly selfish. Not only do you have a lot more positive energy to spend on yourself, but the forgiven will also wonder what the hell you’re up to - that might just be enough. We all know you’ll achieve a great deal more with kindness than hatred. Tolerance and acceptance and far more powerful than bombs and guns.
Replace greed with care.
Do you have a food you really dislike? Mine is Marmite :( When you have negative, ill thoughts towards another person, the only person that this affects is you. You are serving yourself a huge portion of your most hated food and every mouthful tastes horrid. Why are you doing this to yourself? Now, taste forgiveness. You don’t have to immediately start having nice thoughts about that person, you just need to stop having the bad ones. Now you can dish yourself a nice portion of your favourite food and enjoy every morsel, every day.
Charity starts with the self. Let forgiveness be the change you throw in your own bucket.
© 2022 Rob Wyborn