There is a saying that we have all heard: Charity begins at home. I truly believe this. You cannot be unkind to those with whom you live, and truly help others outside of your home. To understand charity, it must be joyful thing, spiritual and simple in it’s giving. But when does charity, compassion and good will turn into socialism? When those who can do for themselves, choose instead to depend on the kindness and compassion of others, because they are either too lazy, or feel too entitled, to get up off the couch.
I have a friend who is helping another friend and her son while they are going through a rough time. She lost her job and has a family to support, so she works while her sons go to school and her husband works part time. She and one of her sons lives with my friend. My friend was more than happy to help in this situation, she has been very fortunate and believes in giving back and helping others. But something has happened recently, a shift so to speak.
There is a lot of money being made…but somehow not enough to even cover a small portion of rent, monthly bills and groceries. And somehow, not enough time to help cook or clean either. When my friend complained and asked for help around the house, they balked. “We re not going to pick up after you,” they both echoed angrily. And indeed they don’t. “You make me feel like a second class citizen,” the woman told my friend. They brag that they picked up their own things, and that’s all they have to do.
Somehow, my friend’s kindness has turned into a socialist state. Her house “guests” are perfectly capable of cooking and cleaning themselves, especially if they cannot contribute financially. But they choose not to. When did they start expecting, and feeling entitled, to live in a nice house, free of charge, not having to cook, clean or have any responsibilities at all?
Regardless of a person’s political party, if you complain about having to support others because they will not work, then you cannot have the double standard of expecting someone else to support you when you can contribute and choose not to. Get up off the couch, do some house work, cook dinner, pay your share, or do something…but stop complaining.
All of us, which is about 15 people, are telling my friend she needs to get these people out of her house if they refuse to contribute, and she agrees. And I have to say, if my sister behaved in the way this lady is, I would have to remind her how we grew up – that you never take more than you are willing to give, that the world and the people in it do not owe you anything, that is you want something you work hard to get it, accept help when you are down and out – and contribute when you can. That is just the right thing to do.
Children need to be taught this as well. growing up we were extremely fortunate. We had everything we ever wanted – but we also had chores do to. We had to keep the house and our rooms clean. we had to study and keep our grades up, we had to be respectful. And yes, we did get spanked with the belt, even the switch. And there was even the wooden spoon when we were really bad. And if we did not do all of our chores, keep our grades up, and have good manners…all of our nice things were taken away.
Growing up, our House was not s socialist state. Our house was not a democracy – it was a dictatorship. And if we didn’t like it, we could get a job, move out and pay our own bills Needless to say, we stayed in the spoiled land of my parents house. And we did our shores. And kept our grades up (for the most part). And had good manners. We were taught that our parents did not owe us all these nice things, that it was a privilege to have them, and that too keep them, we had to earn them.
Charity is a good and beautiful thing. As a society, and as humans, we should all help those who are less fortunate. But the less fortunate have to be willing to contribute what they can as well. They have to be willing to work and give back, pay it forward when they can and help others to are down and out in the future. Without those who are less fortunate working so they can give back, society breaks down. And those who had extra to give suddenly find themselves coming up short.
And my friend is starting to see that. She has given her friends a choice – sit down and have a conversation about them contributing and stopping the complaints, or move out. Because her house is not a socialist state.
And the charity is only charity until it is taken for granted.
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