To give aid is to extend a hand; to give wisely is to extend a roadmap.
Lately, I've been contemplating the various forms of poverty that exist in the world. Some are poor only on holidays, some are poor once a week, some are poor all the time, but for all, being poor is beyond their control.
This led me to think: How do we discern genuine need from a lack of accountability? At what point does helping become enabling? These questions are critical in understanding how best to help those around us in need.
For me, getting too involved with some of our recipients who receive food and financial aid served as a wake-up call. It's easy to fall into a place of wanting to give them everything, but that could potentially create an unhealthy dependency.
It's crucial to remember that our own capacities are limited. Even if we are prosperous and generous today, we might find ourselves in need of help tomorrow. This balance between self-reliance and compassion, between offering aid and fostering independence, is a delicate one to maintain.
In this era, where self-absorption is often championed through social media platforms, we must be careful not to lose sight of our responsibility to others. Our ultimate aim shouldn't be solely self-improvement but also the empowerment of those who lack the voice or means to ask for help. Finding these silent sufferers is our most challenging but rewarding duty.
For we who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
It is written that King Solomon, even in his wisdom and affluence, sought to understand the suffering of the least among his subjects. We may not all have the resources or wisdom of Solomon, but each of us can choose to extend a hand—or better yet, a roadmap—to those in need. By supporting Vision for Israel on a monthly basis, you empower us to be both the eyes and the hands that uplift the less fortunate, with both grace and discernment.
Shalom and blessings,