reply to post by anon4m05
For me, I feel it boils down to not only the act but the results of the action.
I think a large step of the whole of humanity would be to take the result into consideration when taking action. The action and its result seems to
be as inseparable as electricity and magnetism. I will share a personal story that still impacts me to this day;
A family member of mine used to run a food bank. They were solely focused on the act, and as such, held no discernment for who was receiving what.
The first few people to show up ended up receiving ALL of the food. They would literally bring newly bought trucks and buses to take as much as
possible, and would do so every week. They were completely honest when I asked them about what happens with the leftover food, and would reply that
most of it does get thrown away. The food bank was also involved in giving money to those in need, but again, was only focused on the act regardless
of the result.
One day, a family who was very, very obviously poverty stricken and in dire need of help came along. They had no vehicle to transport the food, and
only wanted enough food to get through that day.
But, there was nothing left to give... and they had to be turned away. The people at the food bank said "it happens all the time, but we have done
Along with many other experiences, this is the type of thing that has shaped my view on what "giving" really means. It was the first and last time
I volunteered at this food bank. "Giving" as an act is perceived as good, but when the results are not taken into consideration, it can weaken an
entire society. It brings to mind the concept of teaching someone to fish, instead of just giving them a fish. And, focusing on helping those who
are willing (but not able) to help themselves seems to me to be an important, but often overlooked, aspect of "doing good deeds."
That family did end up getting the help they needed, but it was not from the food bank.
It really is an interesting topic to me. Enabling and encouraging others to help themselves seems to do much, much more "good" than simply giving
to them. It ended up being one of the core pillars of my own philosophy. The act of giving is good, but can be either creative or destruction
depending on how we do it. By giving people the tools to make their own way, it seems to have much more positive results than simply giving them a
product which we made with our own tools.
Really going off topic, so I do apologize for that.. I think that instead of having a society based on control and dependency, we could change it to
a society based on enabling and empowering individuals (and even have all of the tools to do so). I think this one change could be the foundation to
build a stronger world, but it is one that each of us, individually, have to decide to participate in. We all participate in the creation of our
society, but by actually examining where we will grow based on that participation, we can very literally change the world.
Sorry for the rant
It is my life's work even if I do not see any results from it in my lifetime.