The Contribution, Between Generosity and Saviour Complex

It is said that, before starting to contribute, it is important that you build something for yourself as if satisfying the need to contribute competes against one’s own needs. For those who haven’t had a representation of the balance between satisfying other people’s needs and their own needs, or a balance to entirely and completely comply with one’s own needs, it is understood that “it is not appropriate” to only grant importance to contribution after a certain age.

The issue that is raised, along with starting a family, is extending the prioritization of this need for making the world a better place also beyond family, which is a risky bet. For instance, if a parent sacrifices some of their time for noble causes and their efforts are not grounded or justified, they lose thrice: firstly, time with their family, secondly the anticipated results of their work, and thirdly through the example that they give. Who would want to take such a risk?

Another danger related to family is setting a goal from ”providing for future generations”. Thus, parents may give money to their children but, in the absence of a certain financial intelligence, children will most likely waste the respective money. Parents may invest in objectives for the future of their children, such as houses, but children may not want those objectives. Under these circumstances, the provided needs did not belong to the children, but to the parents, and in such situations, the parent may end up broke, disappointed, selfish, and eventually also alone.

However, the real issue does not reside in this. This is a false dilemma. The real issue that is raised regarding the possibility of contributing is:

”How do you establish who, what, and when deserves your efforts and how much of them?”

In the absence of solid discerning abilities, the act of giving, volunteering, contributing, donating, or ceding, causes distrust and predisposes to abuses. Consequently, the worst enemy of contribution is the negative experiences that are not connected to their real causes. The real causes of the wasted efforts do not reside in others but in oneself: lack of discernment, lack of awareness of whose needs are fulfilled, while the parent doesn’t even get to satisfy their need for contribution, that others could benefit from, because of the fact that they work like Sisyphus for unreachable objectives.

Too often, the change that the beggar around the corner receives doesn’t have anything to do with a real desire of those who give it to have a contribution to the life of the respective person, but to their intention to “score points with God”, feel important, compensate for guilt or simply for mercy. Actually, the beggars around the corner request the fulfillment of a need in a manner that makes them dependent on the process. Have you ever seen a beggar with a board that reads ”give me a little of your time to teach me something”?

The infrastructure to decide who deserves some money out of charity may often be more costly than the value of the actual charity but that also happens because of the ineffective design of such organizational apparatuses.

However, the contribution remains to basically satisfy the need of every person to leave something behind for humanity, as a reward for what they have been given and for meeting their transcendence needs. Whose life did you contribute to last week?

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present Translation by Cristiana Brezeanu of the article “Contributia, intre darnicie si complex de salvator  published initially in Romanian on the 12th of April 2017 on Discerne. Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant, all rights reserved

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.

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