What is it that supersedes the question and bears such importance?
What is the calling that we must follow?
Charity is not simply the giving of financial assistance to some charitable organization, whether it be in your community or abroad. It is not simply the feeding of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, nor the assisting of the burdened. Rather the call of Charity beckons to the deepest parts of who we are, the parts of ourselves that we reject, put aside or try to forget. Charity calls us to love all aspects of who we are, who we have been and who we will become. Charity looks upon our seemingly failures and draws our attention away from hatred towards ourselves to the forgiveness and acceptance of ourselves. Charity understands that our failures, our short fallings are but tools toward our becoming, and that without the call to be charitable to these blunders we fail not only be charitable to ourselves but to extend the loving, compassionate hand of charity to those of whom we encounter. The call to Charity is the understanding that in order to bestow charity to others we must first bestow it upon ourselves. How can a ship reach its destination if the broken rudder has not been attended to? Does the patient heal the physician, or does the physician heal the patient? How much more one can help to heal the addiction of another when they themselves have healed their own.
I have discovered, more often than not, that the very things that drive me to utter rage about others are the very things that I loathe about myself. What I detest in others, I detest within myself.
It is easy enough to give money to an organization that assists the needs of the poor in some third world country. It is easy enough to give food to the local food bank in order to assist in the feeding of the hungry. It is easy enough to voice our outrage at some injustice committed upon another individual or group of human beings. Why is it then, that we continually fail to bestow the same charitable outlook upon the very vessel with which we give our charity?
I can think of no greater call then that of the call to charity. To see the other, whether friend or foe, as intrinsically valuable. To enter all conversation with respect and esteem for those of whom you are in dialogue with. To embrace them as precious, dear and worthy of mind. Giving to them, freely, the space to hold opinion. Expressing, not only for the sake of oneself, but rather, for the whole of community. While in our charity we must never forget, not only those present, but those at large; those of whom have not yet received such charity or come by it meagrely.
While adhering to the call to charity, one must not neglect the criticalness of giving charity to one's own-self. This is often the most difficult of all; to be charitable to oneself, but as it is with all things difficult, it is most rewarding not only to oneself, but also to that of others. Charity is not solely valuing and considering the other but also ourselves. It is not a submission to that of another, but rather a joining together in conversation, that of each owns' hearts and minds. Charity is not a dumbing down of who we are and what we believe, rather, it allows for the growth thereof within community.
Charity must always lay forefront to the question, always remaining present during and after the question is put forth.