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    « You guys don’t get a vote on this one. | Main | You should probably just skip this post unless you get off on other people’s misery. You sicko. (Random Tuesday Thoughts) »

    A person might think I have a soul after all. Can’t have THAT. Later in the evening I kicked some kittens.

    Yesterday, our company participated in a local Food Drive for the food bank.  We all pitched in, and the boss bought a huge pallet of food to put on the food bank truck.  I filled up three big bags just from my cupboards.  Not entirely with chickpeas and lima beans, either, there was some food people would actually eat in there.

    (When I was done my cupboards weren’t exactly bare.  I have a bit of a hoarding issue when it comes to non-perishable food items.  Um…can you tell the zombies to delay their attack until I’ve had a chance to restock?  Great, thanks.)

    I felt pretty good about that.  Then, later that day, I attended the first meeting for the volunteer committee of a local charitable giving program.  It’s a new program, one that my friend FoN actually coordinates.  She thinks she bullied me into attending by telling me that volunteering gets me into heaven, but I’m honestly pretty excited about the program and about being part of the committee.

    Now I’m wondering about charity.  (Shut up, it’s kind of a new concept to me.) Is it actually charitable if you’re giving something you wouldn’t miss? I mean, does there need to be some sacrifice involved?  I won’t miss that food – as mentioned, I had a bit of a surplus – but I still felt pretty good about giving it away.  The committee meeting, on the other hand, I was donating my time, something that IS often in short supply, and yet it felt effortless.  It was pretty fun, actually. 

    What do you think?  Do you need to feel a pinch to consider it “charity”?  Or can you just volunteer or help some people out when it’s convenient or fun and still get into heaven*?



    *Disclaimer: I don’t actually believe in heaven.  So it’s kind of a stupid question, coming from me.  You get the gist, though.

    Reader Comments (14)

    I don't know about heaven myself, but volunteering helps me pay forward all the enormous help I've received in this world. I don't believe in luck but if I did, I'd say that I'd been extremely lucky during some low parts of my life. And yes, doing something nice even when it's easy for you to do, counts. You could have just as easily thrown that stuff in the trash or let it sit there for another 100 years.

    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterP.S. Jones @The Bitch Blog

    Um. I read that whole post and not a single kitten was kicked.


    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertulpen

    Yes, it is still charity. I don't think anyone ever said charity has to hurt. And I do believe in Heaven. But I don't believe charity gets you there. But I do believe it helps with the rewards once you are there.

    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennife

    What? You selflessly left yourself open to being understocked in case of an attack by the undead! How could that NOT be considered a charitable act?

    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterunmitigated me (m.a.w.)

    I've thought this myself--the topic is even discussed on an episode of Friends--and I blame Mother Theresa. That saint. Ugh, she set the bar too high! :p Seriously though, I think charity in any shape or form is a good thing. Even if it doesn't lead you to sacrifice much. You aren't without food now, but you gave away stuff that you had in excess and now someone will get a full tummy and your family does too. While self-sacrifice is a good way to stay humble and appreciative of what you have, it doesn't meant that if you smiled or had a good time while doing an act of charity it nulls the universal brownie points you could rack up.

    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabethSheryl

    Everything counts. At least I hope so. For my sake.

    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersuburbancorrespondent

    I don't think charity has to be about sacrifice, just about helping someone who needs it. Although I'm pretty sure to get in to heaven you need to give up a limb or possibly an internal organ, one that you don't have a surplus of.

    You're only soul-less if you eat the kittens, they all deserve a good kicking every now and again.

    October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMrsbear

    No, charity doesn't have to hurt. You are supposed to give with a cheerful heart!! And you you are definitely insured a place in Heaven. Front row, I'm sure!!

    October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSueAnn

    I think you're put WAY too much effort into thinking about this. You contributed to a food drive, you had extra cans of stuff in your cupboard, you sat in a meeting, that's it. The one's receiving the goods aren't wondering if you went out and bought it or if you were going to actually use it, they're just happy someone thought of them. So yes, St. Peter's going to be waiting for you at the gates of Heaven or wherever it is you want to go, lollll

    October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoredana

    The end result is the same right? Someone who needed it got helped regardless of the motivation. Corporations donate to get a tax break, I don't think they increase their chances of getting into heaven :)

    October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel M.

    You have to restock your pantry, right? The money you spend on that could have been spent on wine. Ergo: sacrifice.

    What I always wonder about charity is this: Is it really selfless to give your time, money, goods to others if it makes you feel good? I think only the true altruist can help bastards who don't appreciate their sacrifice.

    October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbeta dad

    Doing good is doing good is doing good. That's what I think :)

    October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

    Charitable contributions don't have to pinch, they just have to help someone in need out.a

    October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLizgizzy

    You don't have to give until it hurts to be charitable. The people on the receiving end don't care how it got to their table, just that they have something to feed their kids.

    October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMama Badger

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