On Charity

When you’re living in a place like Nairobi, a city where American and European NGOs thrive, it seems that people come here to “save the world”, in one way or another.

And it’s not a bad thing.

Yes there are many problems here, and many people have devoted their lives to solving them, for no other reason than their deep love and respect for this land.

Sometimes, the attitude of charity takes a form that is less than noble. Not just for some people, but even within the same person, this dichotomy in what is charitable, may occur. Whether intention is bad or good; that is not what I’m arguing, however, I do believe that true charity is not driven by the desire to meet someone’s needs.

True charity has less to do with being the provider of a person’s basic needs , but has much more to do with reminding a person of their God-given right as a human being to have these needs met.

I believe this to my core, and I will stand by it till the day I die. Giving to someone should restore dignity to them, not remind them that they are, and forever will be receivers. Reminding a person of their need, is as good as robbing them of their sovereignty and self-respect.

This is one of the things I’ve learned by being in Kenya. We’re not here to do anyone any favors. This is one world, and we’re all a part of it, period.

Let’s get together and feel alright? I think it’s time for some Marley… good night.

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