Charity is a term that serves to define a theological virtue belonging to the Christian religion, which consists in loving God above all things and one’s neighbor as oneself. It is a disinterested love that arises from the mere desire to give to others without wanting anything in return.
For Christianity, charity is one of the three theological virtues, along with faith and hope. The Christian loves God for himself and his neighbor for the love of God. Charity implies that the end of all actions is love.
From this sense, the concept of charity is also used to speak of the help that is given to the needy, a work of charity being the disinterested action of an individual in favor of another who is helpless. Some examples in which the concept appears are: “Bill Gates has donated a large part of his fortune to charity”, “My grandmother, since she retired, is dedicated to charity”, “In this town, many families live of charity ”.
Charity can be used as a synonym for philanthropy, the etymology of which refers to “love of humanity. ” By feeling love for the human race, the philanthropist helps others without asking for anything in return and without being interested in the response of the other. Charity or philanthropy can be developed individually, through an informal group, or through an organization.
Charity can also be understood as alms given to the poor or, in general, as an attitude of solidarity with the suffering of others: “Thanks to your charity, my children will be able to eat tonight”, “At school they always tell me that we must have charity and be in solidarity ”.
Is a government that bases its success on charity good?
Like all extremes, charity can also be harmful. Both from a minimalist and social point of view, it could have negative consequences that undermine the spirit of an individual and of society.
Since we are born they teach us not to be selfish, this is considered one of the most negative emotions in the human being; however, the success of many, many people could reside in it. Why? Because only by appreciating ourselves can we be able to do something good for others; therefore a dose of selfishness to achieve what we propose can help us to be better people and to give when we really want to do so and not as a socially imposed obligation.
Since the world exists, many governments have supported its success with the people in charity: offering houses and material goods to those most in need in order to obtain their vote in return. However, these assets arise from the work of every other part of society that, without being precisely rich, pay their taxes and try to keep up with the payments that the State requires of them.
Charity on the part of the State would not be bad or harmful for a society if the assisted party did their part to change the situation. That is, if they accepted charity but worked to improve their situation and return to society sooner or later that benefit received. We could say that charity should be treated for such individuals as a pain reliever and not as a cure.
At first glance, an act that can arise from compassion and respect for the other, can become a harmful work for the person himself in the first case or for the whole society, in the second. Therefore, while helping the underdog is something we should practice more often, truly helping ourselves should also be a subject that we master perfectly.