Saturday, March 27, 2010

kindness without pity

Last week, I went to volunteer at Union Rescue Mission. We served breakfast to people who are part of the mission's program and people off the street. Another lawyer was next to me on the assembly line. As the people filed by, she said to me, "Those poor people." Her words bothered me.Wasn't it enough to be kind? Why is it motivated by a sense of self-righteous pity?

I think it's enough to realize that I have excess and some people have less. The people with less are probably happier with my excess than I am. Net happiness increases. I voluntarily offer up my excess out of a sense community, an acknowledgement that sometimes we need to help each other. Ugh, bugs me when people couple pity into this mix.

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