Charity: From the Inside Out

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See the Roots

It’s the way it works.

Whether we like it or not, it’s the only way to change what’s happening for us.

Take the example of the father who’s training for a charity run in aid of cancer research. His daughter died young from cancer, and so now he carries so much survivor guilt, he’s getting fit and going on a long run. We can’t run from our guilt, just as we’ll never be able to raise, and give away enough cash, to be rid of it for good. The only way we remove guilt is through understanding it.

Sometimes people die young, the reason they die young, is because ‘sometimes people die young.’ To talk of a ‘lost life,’ if death comes early, is in fact nonsensical. When we do this we’re assuming that life is somehow a right and we’re also assuming that a person’s life should be naturally long.

“To think of a life lost we must create an imagined future – ‘they had their whole lives ahead of them!’ – well no, they didn’t actually.”

When someone dies, whatever their age, what determines natural causes? How is it we don’t consider a random mutation, that then goes on to form cancer cells, as natural? Is it not the case that random events are a natural process?

“When we stop fearing death, spend time with our minds in the present moment, and live everyday to its fullest, then we’re free. We’re free of those who would, and are, taking advantage of our fear.”

Let me go further. Let’s say you believed that flying was dangerous. Now, if you believed this to be the case, would you then spend a lot of time in the air, or would you avoid ever flying? Most people who fly are unlikely to believe it’s a dangerous activity. They may consider it an unnatural activity, for a human, but not actually believe it’s any more dangerous than crossing the road. So it’s true to say, and although strictly speaking incorrect, the belief: flying is dangerous, is likely to keep you firmly on the ground.

To go even further, let’s say you lacked the acknowledgement that flying is an unnatural thing for a human to do. To add to this, how about if your passion was flying, and you actually believed that flying was the most natural thing in the world? If this were the case you’d quite possibly spend a lot of time in the air – either through paragliding, ballooning or whatever –  and so does this then increase the odds of you dying through an air accident? Of course it does; it increases the chances of dying through a random event or accidental failure. And so dying in this way, (hitting the ground at high velocity) is it not something we could consider, a natural cause? A natural consequence to spending a lot of time airborne.

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Safe for Some

We can follow this logic in the same way with cancer. The more humans there are, the greater chance of random events, killing us. Cancer in children happens through random mutations, so the more children we have, the greater chance of this happening. Even though feeling guilt, over the death of a youngster when we’ve survived, is understandable, in this instance, it’s misplaced.

“Charity begins with understanding ourselves from within.”

Understanding the reasons, for so much of the suffering and inequality in the world, is far more productive than the charity of giving money. No matter how much money we throw at problems, or as a means of ridding ourselves of guilt, it will never be the cure. If anything, charity can carry the side effects of keeping people stuck through dependence, or compounding worthlessness and limiting beliefs in those who receive our charitable hand-outs.

“The root is always the thing to tackle.”

Every good gardener will tell you, it’s no good looking to simply snip of the leaves or shoots, from the weed. To be truly free from the problem you must tackle it at the root. In the same way, we humans, must stop looking to cure our problems by treating the symptoms only. I cannot guess when this started to be the fashion (big money earner, whoops, did I just say that out loud?) yet we must stop running around in circles, wasting the time and energy, that could be far better placed, tackling the root of our problems.

Learn to fly.

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