The H-art of Giving


Charitable deeds are just as controversial as politics. Everyone has their beliefs as to how, when, where and why to help others, animals and the environment or whether or not to be charitable at all.

I was bought up in a very religious family and as a child I helped at soup kitchens and an orphanage. My parents helped others even though at times they didn’t have that much to share. This ideal of helping has been instilled in me since a young age.

This has probably been one of the reasons why when life seems tough and I feel as if I’ve veered off of the beaten track, I always find gratitude in knowing that there are those out their who are less fortunate than me. No matter how bad things may seem I still have a lot in my life that I can be grateful for.

So why is helping others such a controversial subject?

We all see the beggars on the side of the road with their infamous cardboard signs. The signs tell us what these people don’t have and their life’s woes. I see these beggars as an example of the conundrum of giving.

Naturally we are suspicious of these people. We never know whether or not their signs are actually truthful or whether or not they are taking steps to better their lives.

The majority of vehicles that pass by ignore people who are clearly asking for help. After all for all we know they are drug addicts trying to guilt us out of our hard earned cash because they are too lazy to find a job. Then there are a few who give these people the benefit of the doubt and donate just a few of their rands.

We also have organisations that we can donate time, money and gifts to. There are good people and good organisations out there that need and deserve our help. Many of us do help where we can but unfortunately a small handful of these organisations are corrupt. It is these few corrupt individuals and organisations that also stop people who are willing and able to help from actually helping.

A good friend of mine is currently dealing with such an organisation and the individual who runs it, in the process of adopting her child. It has been an extremely long and hard road and even top officials have become involved. It is a heart rendering story with many tears shed. I won’t tell you the story, firstly it’s not my place to and secondly there is a book being written.

What has come out of her story so far is something that I want to share with you. My friend could have given up, and the son she wants to adopt could still be “lost in the system” but with her heart and determination something even greater has come of it. Soon she will be hosting her own television segment where she will be working with Adoption SA in creating awareness about adopting and children looking for homes. She is an amazing woman who is now dedicating her life to helping others.

Times have been very tough for her and yet she is still willing to stand up, be heard and make a difference.

I’ve seen a few stories of people lately, who even though they are just one person, they make a huge difference in the lives of others and their communities. Then we have people on the other spectrum, those who don’t believe in putting in extra effort to help the less fortunate.

When you believe in something, it means that you feel that is the right way. Nobody can tell you what you feel is right or wrong.

I cannot judge someone who does not believe in helping. I can only admit that I don’t understand where their ideal comes from. Just like religion or politics it is an argument that can be held by two strong willed people as to what is right and what is wrong.

At the end of the day it all comes from the heart. If we help, who we help, where we help and why we help. Some people prefer to help children in need. Some prefer to help animals or the elderly or environmental causes. Some of us like to help in all areas we can help in.

This is one of the amazing things that make us individuals. We are unique in our decisions. I personally prefer to help children and animals because they find themselves in circumstances they cannot be blamed for and are unable to help themselves.

We all have the choice to make a difference in the world around us. Whether it is big or small or if you feel the world doesn’t need changing is up to you.


This article was first published on 04 November 2011


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