My Response to A Plea for Charity

A woman today implored me why I did not support her cause. She wanted to end faminine. She was asking for donations so food could be sent. She thought this was a noble endevor. Many people do think so. I think it's a misguided cause that already has tremendous backing and I felt I had to explain why it's misguided. So I told her a story:

I was standing once on the street as a house burned beside me. I wasn't watching it burn but I knew it was. there were beside me several buckets. The woman approached me then, the one who implored me for donations. She said "Why do you let this house burn?"

"Let it burn?" I asked. "What have I to do with it?""There are people dying in there. Don't you want them to live?""Of course." I replied. "I do not wish suffering on anyone.""Then why do you not throw the contents of those buckets onto the fire?""these buckets contain gasoline not water. The fire will become more intense should I throw thier cotnents on it.""That doesn't matter." she said. "You must do SOMETHING.""In this case it is better I not do anything. My only action will make the fire far worse. As it is the foundation will hold and the home can be rebuilt. Some will survive. If I throw the gasoline on the fire I am increasing the suffering of those within."

"But you must not let this happen."I had to shake my head then. I knew this woman imagined that every house in this town belonged to her. That if something happened it was because we allowed it. She was mistaken about what we could and could not allow to happen.

"I have seen you help others before." she said. "You rebuilt a neighbor's house.""I did." I admitted. "that was not a fire. I can't do anything about a fire except allow it to run it's course."


I wonder if she understood my story. I doubt she did. Did you understand it?

Uploaded 08/29/2010
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