Charity is Empathy in Action

We are the lucky mud. Our atoms, made up exactly like other atoms, have lucked out. Somehow our atoms can see and think about and understand what they're seeing. What lucky atoms. But this seeing, thinking and understanding comes at a cost. The more a person sees the more a person is obliged to act thoughtfully and with empathy towards those bits of slightly less lucky mud.

How then might a person, who's attempting to be a seeing, thinking, understanding and empathetic pile of lucky atoms, best approach Christmas. It's a dilemma, people smile joyously while loading up the credit card, others have a job serving them. All the stuff has to be made and shipped and...if the total cost to the planet were added in an ipad would cost millions. Yikes, what to do?

Our family started a tradition new to us over a decade ago when 'we the adults' decided that instead of buying each other gifts we'd make a contribution to a charity of each's choosing. It has worked great, this year, like the last few, i chose the local Food Bank. i met some neat people there the day i stopped by, people helping each other. Charity is empathy in action.

Of course everybody's situation is unique and sometimes presents are unavoidable, what then? For me, buying locally made useful stuff is next best 'cause it keeps the money in the community. Next, if that's not possible, i'm looking for Fair Trade goods made by real people not corporations. In a nutshell, Fair Trade puts people and the planet before profits. For those folks living near Gibsons BC Canada the Gaia store in the lower part of town is wonderful.