Every once in a while, AWA and I, and sometimes others, get into conversations about charity. On Sunday, I went to pick up a (lightly) used recumbent bike for my hubby, and the person we got it from was obviously well off. The grounds were fenced in tasteful stone, with carvings of animals romping on top, and the land itself was meticulously well kept. The gentleman was older, and he’d apparently purchased the bike for his wife, who was now disabled and unable to use it. He wanted it to go to someone who would get good use of it. We took it, very thankful because it was much needed, and we can’t afford such luxuries.
This is the way the Right handles charity. They give personally. They give to people they can see for themselves are needy in some way. They tend to give to specific people, and to registered charities that they know are doing good in areas that they care about. Think Salvation Army and various church groups.
The Left often accuses the Right of not caring, and not giving. That’s never been my understanding. I see those on the Right (even the ones I consider to be “far right wing nuts”) consistently giving to those in need. They give at a community level, so they can see their dollars at work. They give it during disasters, en masse.
The Left does give to charity, it’s true. Most will help a close friend in need, if pressed. But mostly, they want to give in very anonymous ways. They give to charities directly off their payroll, so they don’t see it or feel it. They give at the government level, so they don’t have to hand it over out of their cash on hand. It’s impersonal.
Obviously this is an over generalization of the situation, but it’s something I see time and again. The Left get SO upset over what they see as the Right “not giving and not caring” and I’ve never understood that. They do give, lots. Americans as a whole tend to give a lot, and the mix of the impersonal Left and the very personal Right seems to work.
The only part that I have real issues with is when charity becomes something more, something not just accepted when necessary, but demanded. The Right is very good at giving a “hand up” most of the time, and a lot of that (IMO) comes from the fact that they want to see and interact with the people who are getting the money or goods. The Left, being more hands-off in their approach, seem to see it all as “someone else’s money” and therefore easy to throw away.
I remember going to an LDS cannery to pick up some canned long-term storage items some years ago. When we were there, their minister (not the right term but I don’t actually know the right one) was there to meet with a young couple. It seems the young couple had come in for help (which is fine… that’s why they have their internal charity), but then hadn’t moved to get OFF the help. The hand up had turned into a hand out, and the minister wasn’t having any of it.
That is how charity should work. No one at an upper government level has even the faintest clue whether I actually need money or not. But Bob down the street has at least a clue, because he sees me at the store, counting change to put gas in my car. Bob knows I volunteer and do things for the town, to make up for what I take. (This is hypothetical, by the by; I am not on the dole at this point in my life, but I have been.)
I don’t think that it’s wrong to want your charity donations to just disappear out of your check. If that’s how you want to give, go for it. I’m glad you’re giving. Me, I want to see the people I’m giving it to. That’s just me. I like to know that my money isn’t being used to pay someone’s overhead salary instead of for food for the widowed mother down the road. But there’s room for both types of giving. Giving is good, for body and soul.