I’ve once again started knitting hats and mittens for charitable giving, and I’m struck by this: how much credit can I take for altruism if I’m knitting these things in part because I have no further need for knitted items? I have plenty of cold weather wear, from gloves to sweaters, so I’m giving my full knitting attention to others. That’s not to say I didn’t do charitable knitting before. I did do some. But the other question I ask is, does it matter?
Now the Bible teaches us those making a show of their giving will get their full reward here on earth, so maybe, given this post, that’s all I can expect. That would make me sad, but I feel compelled to ask if those who receive these gifts will give a rat’s patooty what my motivation is, and if I’m overthinking things.
Giving, in my mind, is more than financial. Giving your old, gently-worn coats to those in need is a good thing, even if you know you would never wear that coat again because your new one is so much better. If we put our focus on the multitude of ways we can help others, good things will happen. And not only to others, but to ourselves.
An August 17, 2021 article on BigThink.com says giving may actually help us live longer. It certainly makes us feel good. It seems to me that many people who volunteer a lot have a gentler demeanor, perhaps a more empathetic one as well.
There’s only so much personal consumption can do for any of us. It does feel good to get money, but if you spend every cent you get (please don’t, please save) you’re not likely to be any happier than your neighbor who gives generously. We know that intuitively.
So I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that people who suffer in cold weather will be happy to have hats and mittens regardless of what percentage of my knitting I can credit to being a good person. Just give and don’t give it another thought. I’ve done enough of that.
Image credits: Giving heart © nito–stock.adobe.com; Trumpets © lembit–stock.adobe.com