It is not always easy to judge sincerity. Especially when surrounded by great need. A couple of weeks ago about five hundred people in an informal settlement in Cape Town were affected by fire that ravaged their (makeshift) homes.
Fifteen minutes’ walk from my house there’s glaring need. There are people who’ve made the cover of a bridge their bedroom. Across the street from that group is another community of people living on the street.
A walk downtown Cape Town city has many people asking either for food or money. Mostly money. In that crowd there are people with genuine needs as well as frauds. Me and my friends spoke recently about how challenging it can be to separate the frauds from the truly needy.
Some of the stories of how kindness was constantly abused was both maddening and sickening. Enough to encourage cynicism.
Despite this, it was inspiring to hear that some of the bad experiences caused them to think carefully about how they gave, without robbing them of the privilege or opportunities to be generous.
I’m glad they chose to err on the side of being generous. I’d rather be generous on the possibility that I could actually helping someone who really needs help. And yes, there are as many occasions where help and or generosity was not just a handout but a ‘handup’.
I’m not in any way encouraging irresponsible giving (whatever that is) all I’m saying is:
Don’t let the bad others do stop you from doing good [Click to Tweet]
The frauds will always be there. At the same time, those with real need for a handup will be there. Not all the good in the world is lost…
There is still opportunity for kindness. There’s still the privilege of doing good in the world. Of making a difference, making the world a greater place.
Don’t stop. Be kind. Help someone. Generosity has great rewards not only for the receiver but also the giver. Indeed, greater fulfilment for the giver than the receiver ;-)