A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Attitude ~

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

Songwriters: Marcus Congleton

The road is long with many of winding turns
That lead us to who knows
where,
who knows where
But I’m strong,
strong enough to carry him
He
ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go
His welfare is my
concern
No burden is he to bear, we’ll get there

For I know
he
would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

If I’m laden at
all, I’m laden with sadness

that everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the
gladness
of Love for one another

It’s a long long road
From which
there is no return
while we’re on our way to there why not share

And
the load doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy , he’s my
brother

He ain’t heavy
He’s my brother
I am laden with sadness that
everyone’s he

Every once in a while, I think of this song. It’s the attitude we are supposed to carry about each and every other person on the planet. That’s a big order and I don’t do it too well, doesn’t mean I don’t know it’s what I’m supposed to do, just means I don’t always succeed.

Egalitarianism

EGALITARIANISM

1: a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs

2: a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people

I am well aware there are many inequalities in our world, some of them political, some of them social, some of them simply by not being born as smart or lucky as the person next to you. Many of those inequalities would be hard, if not impossible to erase. But, as a human being, and as a person that believes the Most High loves us all, and cares for each of us with the same deep loving nature, it seems incumbent upon me to work and live in such a way as to eliminate as far as it is possible in a single life, the inequalities that stem from behavior toward ones fellow man. Sadly, what is quickly forgotten in practice, is that all of the Holy books that I have read speak of treating others in a manner that is compassionate and kind. That is said in many different ways in each book, so it’s really hard to miss, unless you are intent on doing so. But, the key here is practice, living daily in a manner that is gentle and kind, no matter the circumstances. In a world increasingly intent on violence, this is most difficult, and I cannot say that I am any better than my fellow humans in carrying out the instructions to be kind. I try. I listen actively when someone speaks, whether it is about daily issues, or about deeply personal issues that affect a person’s life on the whole. Many times that is all that is needed, just someone to listen. Truly listening to someone speak of their problems is, by default, an equalizer. When you actively listen to another, you are setting aside your own issues for the moment and giving that other person center stage.

But, egalitarianism requires a much broader practice than just “saying” that you believe in equality for all. It requires actually “seeing” all other people, no matter race or creed, as your equal in the eyes of God and man. That’s a tall order, to be sure. One needs to be prepared to go out of one’s way to do for others. If someone needs a ride, find a way for them to get it, if a child needs food, find a way to get them food. If a person needs a coat, find one for them. These are simple things, and can be done with little or no effort, but they do take time. Something no one seems to have extra of these days.

But, there is much more to egalitarianism than simple charitable acts. Egalitarianism requires that, if there are choices to be made, all persons affected by those choices get a voice and a vote. This is not as easy as it sounds. Even in the US, the people’s vote for president is buffered with the Electoral College because the founding fathers of our country did not trust the common man to choose a leader wisely. It is not uncommon for this sort of thing to be built into systems around the globe, so that one’s vote is actually only a voice in the process. Now, truly, if I must have only one or the other, I want a voice, as that can influence the vote, but I would always prefer to have both.

Still there is more: Egalitarianism requires that even in the simplest transactions of the day, buying a roll or coffee for breakfast, shopping at the local supermarket, speaking to the mail delivery person, in all activities you are required, if you are an egalitarian, to be civil even when you can’t find it in yourself to be kind. The people that serve your needs are your equals, not your subordinates. They have chosen to serve as a way of life, you are not their superior even if you are among those they serve. Egalitarianism as a way of life requires a commitment to yourself and your fellow humans to be aware at all times that the person with whom you are interacting is your equal.

Charity v Compassion ~

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. from the 13th verse of the 13th chapter of I Corinthians.

It is strange, how these two words mean essentially the same thing, yet come across so entirely different. Of course it is because of past use of them, but it is rather sad. Charity has been so carelessly used as a word to describe giving to those poor who have let down their pride enough to accept whatever those better off will give. This comes from the use of the word “charitable organizations” to describe groups like the Salvation Army and others whose mission it is to see that those hardest hit in economic crunches have at least the bare necessities to survive, and during the holidays, a bit of nog and some turkey with which to share the hols with those still working. It is not a bad thing, in fact I very much see the need for this, from both sides of the table.

But, I want to show you that charity, put forth as above, may just be the “working” part of a much larger concept. There is compassion in the heart of anyone who looks on the plight of another, even if that “other” is quite wealthy and needs nophysical handouts, and lends them a shoulder to lean on, or a hanky to cry into. These are acts of compassion that would seldom be seen as “charity”. Yet, on a much broader scale, they are one and the same, for they are attempts by one human to comfort and meet the needs of another.

It is this very caring for each other that Y’shua was addressing when he spoke of loving one another. He wasn’t speaking of loving only the members of one’s own congregation, not even only of one’s own denomination or faith. He was addressing loving all other humans with this same, deep level of caring. He was grounded in a faith that forbids¬†evangelization. Yes, he was grounded in Judaism. That was his parent faith, this is shown by so many things that Christians regard as being solely Christian in origin. The “Our Father” was a prayer spoken at Kadesh, the I Am was and is the here and now presence of the most Holy of Holies. There a many mitzvot that do not require one to “feel” charitable to do the compassionate thing toward both the animals and strangers of a human nature.

Compassion then, on all levels, is the very concept that one must care for the plight of all life within one’s circle of influence. This is required by Y’shua of those who would claim to follow him (living by the law of love would have you living by all the mitzvot that have to do with your treatment of others), and by Moses, as he wrote down the concepts shown him by the Holy Spirit. Other faiths, such as Buddhism are similar in their requirement of compassion as a way of life for all who follow that path. I have come to believe that all paths that teach compassion as a core of the faith, and brought to us from the different regions of the world via the Holy Spirit, each group of believers then personalizing the teachings to their way of life, are paths to God.

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