Oh! I didn't see you there, blog. Sorry, I know I haven't posted on you yet today. It's just.. THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. I can't stop reading it. I'm sorry! But I'm here now, and I actually have a topic I'd like to talk about.
I want to talk a bit about charity. I don't mean charity in the sense of donating-old-clothes-and-nonperishable-foods, necessarily. Yes, that is part of it, but I want to talk about charity in the broader sense.
Now, I just want to preface this by saying that I'm going to get a little religious here. It's okay if you're of a different faith or if you don't believe in any higher power, though, because you can apply this to your own set of beliefs pretty easily. I AM religious, though, so I'm going to talk about it in the way that makes the most sense to me.
So, charity. Some of you might be familiar with the verses in 1 Corinthians 13 that people often have on plaques or posters that say, "Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth not;" and so on. In the King James Version of the Bible, which was translated to English in the 1600s (and therefore sounds more like Shakespeare's English than ours), the verse actually reads, "Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not;" etc. In my church we often talk about charity as "the pure love of Christ." So what I'm getting at here is that charity is much more than giving things to people who have less than you. Charity, in its essence, is LOVE.
We could all stand to get a little more love. I know I often feel like the people around me just don't understand me or my circumstances and I wish they would just cut me some slack. And then other times I feel sad or lonely or upset and I just want somebody to notice me, to take care of me, to acknowledge that I'm feeling bad. Here's the secret, though, and I want you all to really think about this before you roll your eyes or dismiss it: WE have to be the ones who spread the love. Everybody needs love, and everybody has those times when things are looking REALLY DOWN. So it's our job to lift them up. It's our job to love them.
And here's the real kicker. When YOU are feeling sad or frustrated or lonely, you know what actually helps the most? Helping others. Sometimes it's just a smile in the hallway. Sometimes it's cooking dinner for a friend who has a lot going on. Sometimes it's organizing a huge event to raise money or awareness for a particular disease. And sometimes it's just loving that person who is driving you absolutely insane. The point is, when you have charity in your heart, you not only share love and joy with others, but you get caught up in it, too. Your family troubles suddenly seem a little less horrible. Your class load seems a little easier to bear. And your heart feels so much lighter that it's hard to remember why you ever felt depressed in the first place. All because you did something for someone else.
The way I see it, selfishness is the stupidest thing in the world. Of course I have my moments when I'm completely selfish; nobody here is perfect. But this system we have where everyone looks out for themselves is inherently flawed. If you only look out for yourself, and everyone else does the same, then each person only had one person looking out for them and nobody gets that benefit of losing themselves in serving others. BUT. If everybody would just look out for EACH OTHER, the world would be a glorious place. When you think of others first, you are able to understand the outcomes of your actions much better. You can see that doing THIS will negatively affect X number of people, and so you choose to do something else. Also, when everybody is looking out for everybody else, there are a LOT of people looking out for you. To me, that sounds a lot better than just ME looking out for me.
The other thing is, if we all just took a minute to consider others before we said something or did something, then the whole atmosphere of our world would change. Cruelty and hate would all but vanish. Sure, people would still disagree on things like politics and religion, but they would do it in a way that would not include slander or bigotry. In short, everyone would be so much happier.
Of course, the whole world isn't going to change overnight. And we can never force others to change the way they think or act. But we CAN change our own thoughts. We CAN change our own actions. We CAN choose to think and act charitably towards others. And, more often than not, when we choose to be charitable, people notice. They notice what we do and they notice the change it makes in us. And maybe, just maybe, when they see how charity makes us happy, they will catch on and try to become more charitable themselves.
I'm not saying it's easy. I still have my days when I want to ignore everyone else on the planet and wallow in self-pity. BUT. If we each take this idea to heart, if we each decide now to make a real effort at thinking and acting more charitably, then we are already making the change. And with that change we can bring a little more love into the world.
Because we all know that love is the only thing that there's just too little of.
Until tomorrow, best wishes.
Days until school: 8
BEDA posts: 22
Sewing projects completed: 9