Monday, October 14, 2013

...and have not charity

I ask myself.  "What is charity?"

I've asked that many times.  I've made many quilts and I've given many away.  I have all I really need, except for when I grow tired of a color or maybe just need a new look for my table.  So, I've spent many hours giving quilts to those with whom I resonate.  In a small southern Utah town, I gave to the women's shelter because I felt some sympathy for many women who are put in situations of being dependent on others for help.  I've had friends in those situations.  To me it would be a horrible place to be.  I wonder why as society in the United States we can't find better for those who have less.  But, then I think of whole countries who have less.  I am only one and cannot make up the difference for a whole society.  What is it that makes up what has become a charitable contribution?  Do they really help?  What about those who don't get helped?  We love to feel we've helped somehow.  Sometimes I think that it makes us feel better about ourselves.  It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling.  But, I continually ask, "Does it really help?"

These questions cannot be answered by society as a whole.  We segment things and make barriers and then offer scraps.  What if a child is hungry and is dieing and the pain of the hunger has subsided, and I in my ignorance give him food that can only start the starvation over and make his life on earth longer but with no change?  Have I done any good?

I don't have answers and I've looked many places and the only thing that makes any sense at all to me is this:
Effects of Poverty and Hunger

My questions remain and I patiently await a sleeping world to awake, knowing I've been asleep for most of my life and still find that I return to that slumber we call mortality.  I still make quilts, but somehow the urgency is gone as I know it's really just a way of my own need to keep busy, when I feel so helpless.

Swiss Government has it Right 


Helen in the UK said...

Of course no ONE person can change society or the way the world is for a large number of the underprivileged. BUT ... don't you think the lady in the abuse shelter that receives a quilt made by you will feel the love that is given in that gesture. One life touched is better than none :)

Anonymous said...

Some are where they are because of bad choices THEY made. You can't make the choices for them, but your choice to make a gift for those with less than you can make a difference, one soul at a time.

Perhaps an after school program would be willing to let you come and sew with a few kids. Projects could be how to sew on a button, working up to making a pillowcase... things to give them a sense of accomplishment...

Carol E. said...

I have pondered the same things. Once I was wondering out loud in the presence of a friend who is not a quilter but is a big fan of the quilts I make. She was strong in her assurance that my quilt given as a gift is "love you can touch" and that it has great meaning to the person who receives it. "Someone cares." That helped me, and I remember it every time I make a quilt. True, I can't change the world. But I can do what I can do, and do it with love. And I take comfort in the group ripple effects we can have through Sunshine with places such as WAS and QBB. They need us, and we feel joy in responding.