I’m not very kind, or charitable.
I generally find fund raising and charity work overwhelming. Guilt-ridden even.
It goes something like this:
You decide to give to one charity, only to feel like someone else is missing out.
You give to people and suddenly recall that sharks are being ground up for soup and Tassie Devils are on the endangered list.
You contribute to your favourite cause, only to have five other organisations (who suddenly have your number), call your house every month for a year or send unsolicited mail asking for money.
You feel guilty and a little affronted. Then irritated.
The practice of benevolence can easily take you to a place of scarcity, overwhelm and helplessness. Why help one person if you cannot save the world?
Then there is the additional responsibility one feels when they are a parent.
Last Christmas, as my kids continued to add to their list of
demands wishes, I had this sudden urge for them to develop a social conscience. I decided that we should all volunteer at a ‘soup kitchen’ but on further investigation, discovered it would mean helping out on – Christmas day!
Frankly, I did not want to leave the comfort of my own home and our planned festivities. I was looking forward to christmas.
Instead, we put together a bag of toys, made handmade cards and gifted them to a local organization.
I felt better.
I’ve often ‘done my part’ out of a sense of obligation.
I’ve given money and resented it.
I’ve given to prove that I am a good person and ended up feeling guilty, depleted and inauthentic.
I’m not much of an activist, or community minded. I’m just not that charitable!
What I am passionate about, is learning to live from a place of love, presence and celebration.
I’m also highly motivated and inspired by the smiles, energy and openness of kids.
The way that they infuse the air around them with playfulness and laughter. Their ability to simultaneously live in the present moment AND dream in the realm of possibility.
The way they insist on a world of abundance, where there is enough for everyone.
So, in the lead up to this Christmas, my three daughters and I have decided to participate in the 5km Santa Fun Run in support of Variety (the Children’s Charity committed to empowering Australian children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs).
It takes place nationwide in Australia on November 25th and everyone gets to don Aussie style Santa suits!
Or, if you’re in Australia, you might want to join in on the fun yourself, in your own state.
You don’t have to be charitable to make a difference. Right?