Friday, January 27, 2012

On Wealth and Charity

I believe there are certain traits that are inherent in people, regardless of where we come from and who we are. For instance, when it comes to wealth and the obligation for charity, there are several basic principles by which we can measure others. Are we obligated to help others with our own wealth? I believe so. What is humanity but a brother and sisterhood, all of us alone on this small planet, and all our laws and statutes and declarations merely the "how to" of our living here together? I heard on the radio the other day that during one great ice age, the population of this planet was less than 2000 souls. All of us come from this tiny community in Africa many many millennia ago.

We are all in this together. That is why I believe that anyone who accumulates excessive wealth has a measure of guilt about the inequality in the world. They have this guilt because there comes with it an obligation to help their fellow man, as, in a closed system such as our world is, no wealth is accumulated without the efforts of others. That effort is worth the love and empathy for those who are suffering.

For those who accumulate excessive wealth and do not feel guilt, love, or inequality, they are weak, and in all definitions of social disorders, prevalent among them is a lack of empathy.

These people are broken, and need compassion to be fixed. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

I believe that more today than I ever have.

For those with wealth who do not feel guilt, should they have been brought up with religion, whether Islam, Animist, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Shinto, or Buddhist, they can learn empathy, as do we all when we learn the stories of our ancestors. It is in this way we are taught charity. For those who are taught these principals, and do not practice charity, they subconsciously reject the love of mankind, and they, too, are broken, and can only be fixed with compassion.

Those who accumulate wealth, and preach religion, and in these ranks we find the worst of politics, that still do not show empathy, especially if they are people who hold the reins of power, with the drive to create laws for others, these are the vilest of creatures, and yet are still not beyond inclusion. These see religion as a means to subdue others for their own profit.

They will use politics in the same way, a game to be played for their own gain, to put their name in history, and to shadow their actions with many words to make themselves look benevolent. I believe the main goal of politics in this century should be the rooting out, and excluding from politics of those people, until they learn the true charity of their religion, and perhaps hopefully, the true love of fellow humankind, and the healing of their rift from the collective heart of our people.

For in all this, the best of those people are those who succeed in accumulating moderate wealth, no more than they need to be comfortable, and share it out of compassion and empathy, not because of the teachings of a religion, but because they do so out of the natural state of being empathic and attentive to the humanity, the community around them. To these people I say their life is well done, whether or not there is recognition, for these should be the people leading our states, and our religions. 

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking  excellence." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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1 comment:

  1. For those who accumulate excessive wealth and do not feel guilt, love, or inequality, they are weak, and in all definitions of social disorders, prevalent among them is a lack of empathy.

    Beautifully said, I wholeheartedly agree and such a powerful message. Thanks for this!