Jason wrote about “A Day Without Hate” yesterday. It’s a beautiful sentiment and I would love to continue with that thought. I want to write about a day with love. Much of the world hates because of religion and politics. Even those that share my faith will misquote God to suit their hateful needs. It drives me insane. Christ says: All the commandments are summed up into one. Love your neighbor as yourself. Yet in His name people oppress, kill, and have taken away people’s civil rights throughout history.
I strive daily to live my life with love for everyone, even those I disagree with. It’s much easier to do if you put yourself in their shoes. How are you supposed to understand what it’s like being poor if you have always had everything handed to you? How are you supposed to understand working hard if you have always been in a cubicle with air conditioning and plenty of food? How are you supposed to understand oppression when you have never been a minority? You shut up, you listen, you get your hands dirty, and you do all you can to really understand.
I have been very poor, as a child I stayed in homeless shelters, and I’ve lived in a car off and on for a year. It was scary. Since then, I have slowly gained a very pampered lifestyle. It’s interesting to see the extremes play out. I can relate to most people in either life circumstance. I’ve seen people stuck in their poverty or wealth for their lifetime, and never really understand anything outside their bubble; then despising the other side. This only brings on animosity and hatred.
One of the best ways to stop thinking of yourself and to step into your neighbor’s shoes with love is charity. I always say, when you’re having a bad day, bake a cake and bring it to someone that’s having a worse one. There are a few orginizations that are very near and dear to my heart. You may think there is nothing you can do because you don’t have money or you don’t have time. There are ways everyone can help, depending on what they have to offer.
Too Much Money, Not Enough Time: For those of you in this category, Doctors Without Borders (aka Médecins Sans Frontières) is the right charity for you. They work “in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.” They give medical care in places no military will go. Check them out: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
I’m a kid or an adult with little to give: You can always donate to the aforementioned charity or you can give food, animals, seeds, or water wells in third world countries. Heifer International is wonderful about helping communities get set up in the “teach a man to fish” sort of way. My 11-year-old daughter asked for donations of food and water to this organization instead of Christmas presents. She didn’t have the money to donate herself, so she found a way to help without money. You can read more about them here: http://www.heifer.org/
I’m Broke: Worry not. There are always the donations in lieu of birthday and holiday gifts I mentioned above, or you can volunteer your time. I know community soup kitchens need help. Most people look up the soup kitchens during Thanksgiving or Christmas, but the rest of the year they are hard up for help. Another community organization, which is also international, is Habitat for Humanity. They need people to help build houses for families in need. The family is not given a house for free. They have to log in so many hours on their own house, and they have a minimal mortgage. They are allowed to have people donate hours of work in their name, and that helps those with smaller families and children. If you’re interested in learning more about them please read here: http://www.habitat.org/
These are just a few organizations that are near and dear to my heart. I would be honored if one of these organizations got a moment of your time or a little of your money from reading this post. It isn’t just the giving that counts, but the intention behind it. Even if the only thing you have to give is to lend your ear to a hurting friend, it makes a difference. Love your neighbor as yourself, and you will find fulfillment.
Lady or Not… Here I Come!
Thanks for reading my guest post on Jason’s blog. If you would like to read his guest post on my blog, please check it out buy clicking this link: http://wp.me/p2BLLc-X8 I would be honored to have you visit.