I’ve been reading lots of posts about how people are making great efforts to give back in their communities. For example the young person who had a lemonade stand raising funds for the family of a slain officer.
Giving back seems to be on the radar for many folks, and it’s a great thing.
However, is giving back to those who are strangers, or a group of people who are from a different part of the world more or less valuable and worthwhile than say focusing on needs in ones own village (family and close friends?) Is it selfish to see and target the needs in my local community, and not go all out for a dynamic that the rest of the world seems to be focusing on and fiercely directing the narrative toward?
How do humans spotlight a need without feeling guilty? Guilt that my concentration isn’t the same as what I’m being told should be my priority, or guilt that I’m fixating on the periphery of the real need.
My daughter is a single parent of a son on the Autism spectrum. I want to be the person she can count on when she has a need for my help. This is important to me yet I feel because we are not people of color (any color) I am typically selfish and self centered to identify this way.
Who decides what giving back truly looks like?
Is it me being part of a meal chain at my church that provides meals to families who are in need, but aren’t necessarily people of color? Is it my daughter adopting a child with autism and working hard to provide for his mental, physical, educational, and emotional needs? Or is it only in protesting for social change? Are my regular monetary donations to charities a cop-out? I always thought I was helping, doing something good for the world when I’ve sponsored several children in Kenya, supported arts at the school where my daughter teaches, supported a wildlife charity or environmental effort, or took a star from a giving tree to provide Christmas for a child in need.
Who gives value to the conscious efforts of others?
I won’t stop doing these things, but maybe, I won’t let others make me feel guilty for my efforts.