This nation is one of the most charitable in the world. Through many years of poverty and struggle for a decent life the people understand what it is like to suffer, although many may doubt this while reading their 'Daily Mail.' The strong Christian influence left its mark concerning the need to consider those without basic needs, an attitude that remains withing society even among 'liberals' who refuse to accept Christian influence on their ideology. Therefore when a charitable movement becomes popular people many are willing to join in. On occasions however this takes on a life of its own and the results are less than charitable. The social pressure to undertake this 'charitable act' has led to politicians off all sorts joining in as they are afraid to refuse. The so called 'ordinary' person is influenced likewise.
The 'Ice Bucket Challenge,' in which an individual allows a bucket of ice filled water to be poured over their heads and then posts the picture on every social website possible is one such charitable act that now fills the media. Some see this as harmless fun and beneficial to charities. I beg to differ.
Sitting here in my 'miserable old man' outfit I recall similar daft means of raising charitable cash, for instance the woman I found sitting, somewhat bored, in a bath tub half filled with Baked beans for instance. This behaviour was sponsored with money collected going to a charity of some kind. I myself believed offering the beans to the nearest Food Bank a more charitable and practical idea. In similar fashion the money spent on wasting water this way, plus the cost of creating ice, would have been better spent finding a suitable charity organisation that actually seeks to provide clean water for those who need it most in drought areas. There are dangers in Ethiopia of long term drought killing the major coffee growing areas and the people who live off that produce with it, the Sahara regions and parts of India suffer terrible drought or just lack a source of clean water, could money spent there be more charitable than seeing yourself on facebook catching flu? Vast numbers in this overcrowded world are beginning to lose the drinking water available, Middle East rivers for instance can no longer supply the vast areas let alone the war torn ones. The need is great and I wonder what they think when they see fat people in rich lands pouring gallons of clean water over their heads? Are they impressed? Could it be resentment or would this breed a desire to move to such areas, legally or not?
Some clever people take a more appropriate outlook when collecting charity money, sponsored walks, women not speaking for a certain period of time (that's popular!), 'fun runs,' and such events while others take a holiday and ride a bike across a desert while being sponsored for the fun, a much better idea and both riders and charity benefit, unless of course the rider dies of thirst or heat exhaustion.
There is nothing wrong with having fun while being charitable but a better way than ever is also more likely to benefit those that require assistance. That is giving a direct debit of say £5 or £10 a month, depending on your income, to the charity of your choice thus enabling them to control their finances in a better manner and you have the satisfaction of doing something good and not even noticing it. Of course you get no publicity for this and surely that is another benefit, who wishes to know how much another gives to charity, whoever they are? Rich men who give to charity should do so quietly, those who are constantly seen in such poses do so for their image, not others.
'Loving your neighbour' means just that, it means 'love your neighbour,' help those you wish to help and can afford to aid, it does not mean be seen doing good, or be afraid of a bandwagon. Let us continue in charity work, but let us do so wisely.