I find it unconscionable, people who give to charity and think it gives them some sort of moral superiority because of it, that somehow they are “better” because of it, better than the people they gave the charity to, and better than those who don’t.
If you give to charity because you want recognition, because you want to brag about it, to write about how great you are, to always tell people about it, so you get endless applause, you ARE NOT giving you charity, in the opposite, the only “charity” you are giving to is your own self-promotion.
If you treat people well just because you think somehow it puts you forward in line to get to heaven or because of some religious “reason” that somehow makes you and your religion superior…you haven’t treated people well, you’ve only treated yourself well, it wasn’t about the other people, it is all about your own self-aggrandizement.
If you run some NGO and you spend as much time doing press releases and hiring photographers to document the suffering of others that you are “helping”, you aren’t helping them, you are just paying your salary, you’ve ground up the suffering of others and squeezed their blood and tears into money to pay yourself to live a good life.
It’s disgusting how the industry of “charity” and “help” has been turned around, so it is all about “me”, all about the self making money, and showing off. In the old days people bought an NGO and a nice house, now they just buy a charity and wave around their donation. They make people cry and beg in line, so they can photograph them through pure prurient interest of the bad luck of others; they take poor children from poor countries and hold them up like trophies, like a Rolex watch of old, if they could they string the heads of starving children to make a bracelet to wear at parties to tell others they helped the children, but for the fact that the heads might mitigate their claims.
The only real reason to give to charity is because a true and correct acknowledgement that “there but for the grace of God go I,” or the realization that in the suffering and bad luck of others, could be you, had circumstances been different. You don’t help them because you are better, but because you are them.
It’s not “social justice” or “fixing the world” if the only thing you’ve done is increase your social standing and fixed up your career in the world.
If you feed a hungry person who otherwise would be even more hungry, you have done good no matter what your motivation. There are 2 sides to the transaction and to focus on the donor to the exclusion of the benefit to the donnee is seems to be an incomplete analysis. This does not apply to the case cited where a recipient is humiliated-arguably causing more suffering than good. Judaism teaches that deeds which are performed for unworthy purposes eventually are repeated for worthy purposes.
Gmar Chatima tova