So this is going to be a quick one, and most likely not the most well thought out. I was thinking the other day, about charity, and how many people are too proud to accept it. You know, "I could never accept a handout" type people. Yes, I'm included in that group; receiving gifts is not a strong point of mine. Anyway, I got to pondering the origin of such a response, and quickly decided that it was pride. Kind of a no-brainer there. But then I got to thinking on the origin of "Charity", and, though it may seem blatantly obvious to some, I finally put 2 & 2 together and realized that it was the same word as the "Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love)" Charity. *foreheadpalm*
Derived from the Latin caritas, "Charity" refers to the love and friendship one has for God and, by extension, all of mankind. Though it may not seem so anymore, the origin of charitable donations stemmed from a desire to show love of God and neighbor by giving to those who needed something but did not have the ability to give reimbursement. It was/is a way to show Love.
Back to Pride, now. What does Pride do? Causes us to reject Love. The Proud Man is incapable of accepting or giving Love. Love requires and demands humility, to allow oneself to be open and vulnerable to being known by another. But Pride hinders our willingness to be understood and to understand, even though it is what we as human beings most desperately need and want.
To decline either gifts or help out of Pride is, in essence, to deny Love which is being offered to us. It is to say, "I want love, but on my terms and conditions. Anything which causes me to humble myself, and face humiliation, does not fit the model, and thus I will have no part in it." To be too good for a charitable act is a sign of being too good for Love. Something to keep in mind as we enter this Holiday Season, where Acts of Charity are so often a major focus of this time of year.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
It is tough adjusting to being a mom, having to put basically everyone before yourself. Oftentimes, it seems as though you never get to do anything that you want to do, or sometimes even have to do. It is easy to get caught up in the "I didn'ts" of the day: I didn't get to finish the laundry, again; I didn't get to getting us all outside (*gasp!*); I didn't get to finish that article; and so on. It is easy to start to slip into the thinking that we are failures - I mean, how hard is it to finish a load of laundry, really? Nevemind that the help of a toddler and 9 month old is really much more of a hindrance. Even finishing what used to be the simplest of tasks is now a huge deal. My huge successes last week? Actually having dinner made by the time Code Monkey got home, three days in a row. The first time that has happened in basically 9 months. But even that victory was overshadowed by the list of "I didn'ts", which it seems haunts my every move.
Tonight, though, my perspective was shifted a little bit, as I was thinking about the day while nursing Juanito down to bed. It started out with the typical "I didn'ts", but then I thought about how I didn't lose my temper today. I didn't yell, even when José was hitting me with the book. I didn't lose my cool when José wasn't able to keep the dish water in the sink. I didn't get bent out of shape when Juanito decided that 10 p.m. was a better time for sleeps than his historical 8 p.m. I didn't let the little things get to me today. This is a list of "I didn'ts" that I can feel good about, even proud of. I'm finally seeing, more and more, how much my actual attitude toward and view of a situation really influences how I feel about it (much to my chagrin most times). So when you get stuck in the rut of negative "I didn'ts", try and see if you can't throw a few positive ones in there as well, even if they are really ridiculous. Pretty sure it'll help make a bad day into a not as awful one.