Friday, August 21, 2009

Right Hand Information

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” is a line from Matthew 6:2-4 that's remindful of humility. Literally though, in getting some work done, coordination between both hands with pairs of others rather clasps the idea of others’ testament of your deed instead.

We had our hands full setting up a “trade” showcase to be awarded to a recipient for a politician’s generous cause of which we co-sponsored. In the midst of the rush not to unveil the surprise, a right hand from that of a public servant reached out for an acknowledging hand shake as we became subject of lenses worthy of media hype. Smile? Click! Click! Click! Click! Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

As the program progressed, more cameras rolled and clicked for documentation (err) publicity. Politicians abounded. True to their words (oops) style, they delivered their speeches with conviction BUT modesty… “Oh don’t you just admire them for their knack for subtle bragging? Mmmmm!” They then moved on impressing everyone, I mean almost everyone with their noteworthy projects (read: political investment) beneficial to the less fortunate as well as to their aspirations. Good if their objective is merely humanitarian in nature and not an outlay for more votes.

For a moment there though I knew it was more like a campaign, I thought I was watching a stage play complete with dramatic twists. Even one politician’s departed daughter served to be a convincing factor in substantiating the pureness of his outreach program. Almost all seemed scripted. Although I was in a way moved by how natural the recipients were as I was likewise my late father’s beneficiary of how generosity should be imparted. Yesterday was his birthday. And yesterday’s commitment was a fitting gift for the man who taught me about the value of sharing. I may not be as generous but I know of the supposed unassuming nature involved.

What I’ve witnessed yesterday was a far cry from that moral. The intention was good but the manner by which it has been publicized should have been forgone. It’s a clever way of establishing solicitation of favor through an apparent testimonial debt. Another thing, those fortunate enough to be in a more comfortable setting shouldn’t share their “blessings” with the intention of getting something in return. Wanting to be of aid, then, by all means do so without putting emphasis on one’s own kindness. Seeing the problems you’re capable of addressing is like being asked for an answer; it’s a call to do good not an opportunity to gain sought-for adulation. Working on and asking for support as well to rather give it to others for one’s own credit reaps further credentials. The real fulfillment though in helping others is pleasing not just the provided one but most importantly The Real Provider… The One Who gave us the hand for reaching out and to do what’s right…

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