We as people have the ability to be incredibly kind given a tragic event that spurs our kindness. For instance, when someone dies my hometown community will come together to bring food to the family during their time of grieving. If someone dies unexpectedly leaving behind a family, people will graciously give money to the family to help out. If someone’s house burns down, the same people will immediately give the family clothes, food, and whatever else they need. Name any tragedy and I will show you evidence of people jumping to aid the people involved. I am no different. Show me tragedy and I am ready to help.
In the same breath, I can think of hundreds of times I have passed a homeless man on the street giving him a dirty look, times when I refused to give someone a ride, was too busy to stop and help someone fix a flat tire, didn’t give $20 to the family broken down in the grocery store parking lot, said “Ahh well he deserves to be [insert something bad]. He isn’t going to get any sympathy from me.”, didn’t give someone a second (or third chance) even though they (like me) are only human and just keep making mistakes.
The two opposing behaviors brings me to the question: Why are we so ready to jump forth with charity when there is a tragedy, but when it comes to a small or unfortunate situation caused by the person we will pass up the chance to help?
Is the guy who has fallen on hard times less worthy of charity?
I could argue he is less worthy because he made the choice to mess up where as the family who has experienced tragedy had no say.
I could argue that his poor choices are the reason that we should help him as readily as we help people who experience loss. Just as he had the choice to mess up, he also has the choice to make things right. He has the choice to dig himself out of his mess and do something he can be proud of. Potentially, a little charity would go a long way in helping him make a meaningful change. Maybe, helping to save a man that has the ability to be saved is as worthy of our charity as victims of a tragedy.
The same goes for something as simple as someone broken down with a flat tire. Even though a flat tire is a seemingly small problem that the person should easily be able to handle, maybe they have some sort of disability or maybe their day has literally been one big mess and they are at their wit’s end. Either way our charity would have an impact much greater than we may expect.
What’s my point?
We should stretch forth the hand of charity for all victims no matter the situation because you never really know what someone is going through nor do you know the impact a small act of kindness might have on a person’s life.
It may even be life changing.