'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…
It is the season. Not just autumn season, festival season, but also the season of the big push by charitable organisations in their fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns.
To say it is 'the season' is perhaps not so accurate now. Once upon a time it was only really at Christmas and Easter and such like that we heard the shout outs for hand-outs. This was because it required an army of volunteers to go door-knocking or stand on streets and it was costly to prepare and deliver leaflets. This has changed with the onset of modern communications media and, truth be told, it has become much easier to spread the word. Almost too easy.
The flow of requests seems never-ending these days. There is now a plethora of bogus charities joining in the clamour for our funds, so we must always be alert. There are, also, unscrupulous types out to piggy-back on the genuine gatherers and cheat both them and us, the givers. There are an incredible number of small charities fighting for their piece of the action - and then there are the 'self-funder' sites where any Joe Bloggs or Candy Floss can put a case for donations… on-line begging.
Not that there are not worthy causes; there are far more than we can ever know. What is concerning is that there is a perceived need to bully other folk into providing succour. As a rule, the human being is quite generous, but a trend that is being observed is that, with such an onslaught of donation requests, there is actually a tendency to put hands in pockets and hold them there! Folk who may once have given freely to the occasional door-knock are now cringing and avoiding. There have been news articles here in UK of late which highlight that there are those who feel so overwhelmed at the amount of requests they receive, they become depressed, or in some cases, commit suicide, because they simply do not have money to keep giving and they feel guilty about this.
It is a sad state of affairs if the idea of being charitable turns against us.
The trick is to select a half dozen or so for which one has full and intense feeling and give to those regularly. Let all others go by, for there will be someone else who holds them dear, each in their turn.
Yes, as spiritual and moral beings, we must give what we can so that others may be assisted, but it ought never to be at such a cost to ourselves that we become despairing or turn instead to selfishness, never giving at all.