The Irony of Fanfare

Giving to charity is admirable.

It’s something that we should all do, even if it’s only a little bit.

There is enough to go around; but we have to share it.

There’s enough food on the planet to feed everyone, and the technology is there to make sure that everyone has clean water, too.

It’s the greed of the wealthy nations and the tinpot dictators of the poorer ones that prevent those who need it most from getting it.

 

But have you ever noticed how hard it is for people to give anonymously?

It’s true, that the Internal Revenue Service makes it more attractive to declare who you gave it to because it enables you to avoid paying tax on it; but there’s also much to be said for sacrificial giving.

Anyone can give out of what they have left over after they’ve paid their bills and bought everything their hearts desire.

You know what I’m talking about.

Everyone is on stage or in a public place.

Cameras are flashing.

An over-sized check is being symbolically passed from one person to another.

It’s a fanfare even without the trumpets.

 

Why is that?

Why aren’t benefactors, large or small, content with donating anonymously?

The answer is pride; and it’s not the right kind.

It’s the kind of pride that says, “Hey. Look at me! See how generous I am. I’m giving a bazillion dollars to this charity!”

That kind of pride is smug.

It’s using something which should be all about them to get others to notice that it’s all about you.

And that’s why the whole thing seems so vacuous.

It is.

Ironic, isn’t it?

 

So I challenge you to start giving to charity.

If you’re not in the habit of doing so, then begin with one or two percent of your gross income.

As you feel able, increase it.

Don’t forget to include bonuses and profits from selling stock, for example, or your house.

And keep your giving to yourself.

It’s no one’s business but yours what you do.

You’ll find that simply knowing that what you give is benefiting those who are disadvantaged is enough to diminish your propensity to blow your own horn.