On Charity and the US Military

Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it. –George Sand

You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them. –St. Vincent de Paul

It’s easy to run to others. It’s so hard to stand on one’s own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can’t fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It’s easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It’s simple to seek substitutes for competence–such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.
–Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

4 thoughts on “On Charity and the US Military

  1. Charity is a simple short-term approach it is never the solution. If you step in to help then you must stay for the duration. Long-term charity also creates weakness and the inability to achieve.

    Give the people the right to their own independence whilst you support them with charitable gifts of food, clothing and shelter; educate them, and allow them to flourish with pride and dignity.

    Assist them in becoming independent so when you leave you are not missed, save that they call to say thank you.

    If you have to return, then question your self-how you failed them the first time, and learn from the experience. For they will want to know how you went wrong when it is their turn to assist others.

    Yours Aye.

    • All points well taken. A German magazine (Der Spiegel I believe) was interviewing a Nigerian (or Kenyan perhaps?) economist. And the African begged off any future charity in Africa. “All the money goes to functionaries.” And this keeps graft and inefficiencies alive in the system.

  2. I notice you chose three different attitudes and behavior illustrative of some rather famous people who expressed their own ideology and beliefs regarding charity…I’m not terribly familiar with female French author, George Sand…I think she had an ongoing affair with Fredric Chopin….but from her rather negative comment, I’d say she wasn’t a proponent of Christian charity as the second notation of St. Vincent de Paul…and the final declaration of Ayn Rand, a proponent of capitalism is the summation of what America is supposed to be….capitalism and competence…her communist upbringing was even an impediment to the development of true charitable giving….k

    • Ah yes, Ms Sand and Chopin. I’d read that she had another suitor as well, one quite well known. I’ve forgotten who exactly. Definitely three different ideas on charity. . .

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