The fire at Notre Dame caused a wave of comments from people questioning the priorities of the rich, and how they should allocate their funds. It has got me thinking about where the line is drawn, is it an act of help charity or publicity? This brings me to this article. Let’s look into the difference between authentic charity or publicity for convenience.
We experience positive growth not by judging others but by examining ourselves.
Charity or publicity
Where does one end and the other begin?
Notre Dame is the symbol of Paris. It truly was devastating to witness not a building, but a symbol of history and culture go up in flames. The feeling of devastation quickly turned into shock as so many people climbed on their high horses and from above, judged those that made the conscious decision to give their own money towards the restoration. I’ll be honest, in today’s world, I am surprised to hear of anyone giving something of their own for any cause. So, to me, finding out that rich people from all over the globe were giving their money towards a cause, even though their charity was driven by alternative motives and not out of compassion, was still a pleasant surprise.
Difference between authentic charity or publicity that is convenient?
Real charity does not come with a name tag. Those who want to truly help, do so anonymously, without putting their name in media or post selfies on social media. Those that proudly tell the public about their so-called good deeds, do so primarily for good old-fashioned publicity and with a dash of ego as to shame others by showing off as to what a great human being they are.
To me, witnessing people bashing others for what they chose to do with their money was hypocritical. Voicing your opinion is easy nowadays and let’s be honest, it is simply human nature to look like the righteous one by attempting to downgrade another one’s actions. If people are experts in anything, then it is that.
Our past vs. our future
I am fully aware of the damage we as humans are causing to the world. I always say that human beings are like parasites to this planet. And part of our parasitic effect is ganging up against one another. Those who claim to care for the future of our lives and the planet as a whole should also be aware of people who have a great connection to our history. As I see it, both our past and our future are two crucial parts of the puzzle of our present. If you view a symbol of the history and culture, representing the past as just a building, then you are no better than those who refuse to believe in global warming and the damage our quick buck of today will cause tomorrow.
Those who claim to know better how the rich should spend their money, let’s just start by mentioning that the rich aren’t rich out of thin air. They probably know best how to make money from money. They probably could teach each of us a thing or two. From the aspect of publicity, of course, it’s a great move. To them, it is a fairly small investment into something that will give them a great return plus interest. As for those who judge their investment, every time you voice your opinion against their smart and sly investment, you are only pumping up their interest in investment. This is publicity and you are doing all the advertising for them.
From the aspect of how tainted one’s soul shall get after using a devastating moment to pump their popularity and make an investment, well, that is something they will need to answer for personally in due time. It is not a subject anyone of us should worry about our minds with.
When someone donates or helps someone or a cause, it brings a drop of hope. However, if their help came with their name in bold, front lining the news and gossip columns, I wouldn’t rush into putting their name under the angel list of humanity.
If you stop viewing donations that come with a name as a charity and begin seeing them as business investments for the promotion and growth of a company or brand, you will see that it is not the priorities of one that is the driving force, but rather a simple business decision. And from a business point of view, I am sure that those who are rich, know very well on which business investment to make and which not to. This has nothing to do with their morals or priorities. This is just business.
As for those who truly want to help, they need not take the moment and put their name to their donation. They would do it anonymously. None of us actually know of how many rich people and what amounts they truly donated towards which causes. But just because we don’t know of them, does not mean they haven’t done so.
A man should fear when he enjoys only the good he does publicly. Is it not, publicity rather than charity, which he loves? Is it not vanity, rather than benevolence, that gives such charities?
Charity as means of publicity
The rich sector of society lives in a very different reality to that of the rest. With riches come a whole new world of rules and problems which the rest do not know of. Many that got rich overnight, so to speak, cringe to their riches and enter a reality where the fear of losing everything is consuming and is reflected in every decision. Those who have been born into riches, face a very different reality. One where they have no perception of life without such resources. They see life in the language of materialism, which dominates and dictates one’s social position and ultimately, power. We have witnessed more than once the results of one mere human having too much power and resources at their disposal. Power, greed, and ego gets traded in for humanity, resulting in a materialistic machine. A machine that conceives everything and anyone as an object of trade, therefore their disposal.
The rich people, their lives, and every step they make is being observed and judged by everyone. Believe it or not but even though they may have more opportunities due to the resources at their disposal, it is the normal folk who have the freedom. It is this freedom that separates a normal person from the rich. And if we are all about making a difference, how about starting by placing judgements and envy aside. How about focusing on making our own little differences individually. Without the need to quickly voice our opinions against the actions of others in an attempt to be seen as the perfect citizen, whilst casting stones onto others and allowing our egos to pretend as though we are in a position to tell others what they should do.
There’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Change starts with You
If you truly are one of those that want to make a difference, ask yourself, what is it that You do to bring around change? And no, you voice your opinion on social media about how shameless the rich are, is not changing anything. It is only adding a dash towards your pride and spreading more negativity and conflict. But what about actual physical change, what are you doing? No, recycling your waste shouldn’t be on that list either because in most countries it has become law so that action is considered being a citizen and following the law.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you did something charitable? Like helped someone without posting it on social media? Or put your name down together with the act? Simply doing it because it helped another without ever wanting anything in return?
Some may say, ‘Oh if I was rich, I would be able to do some much’. And what makes you think that having more would automatically give you more to work with and therefore do more? If you are unable of making a little change with the little you have today, what makes you think that having more would change anything? Truth be told, you don’t have to be rich to be able to create change. How about you start small like stop judging others for their actions and become more understanding. Maybe open yourself up to understanding that our past is just as important as our future. Or write your opinions down but do not hit the publish button because once your emotions are at bay and you re-read your words you will notice just how narrow-minded and spiteful your choice of words is. And that deep down, your words are more about your pride rather than they care for the future.
The bottom line is that those who truly want to bring change start so by understanding those who may be blinded to the need for such a change. If you are unable to place your morals and views aside, to step into the reality of another, then you are simply doing what the other is; proudly standing by your own belief and refusing to acknowledge anything or anyone else.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
The ignorant mentality of ‘my truth is the only truth’ is what has gotten us to this point. Maybe it’s time to finally be a little smarter and to look at the situation from other angles. To understand the other from their perspective and in doing so, to explain your beliefs in their own language.
So how can change come about to such structures that have existed since the existence of human society? It is certainly not something that can be changed overnight. However, a good start may be to stop seeing a situation from a narrow view. Widen your mental horizons and start seeing the bigger picture for what it is. Our reality cannot be changed by us doing the same thing we’ve done since the dawn of humanity. We need to start thinking wider and being more open to one another before any real change can be made.
Charity that is authentic
Expecting a return on your ‘good’ act, your charitable action losses its charitable value. When you do something because everyone else is doing it too, it also isn’t considered as an act of the good heart. So, what is a pure act of kindness?
It’s simple; when you do or say something which brings goodness and a little relief to another, without wanting anything in return.