Sunday 28 September 2003

But the Greatest of these is Charity

Today I did a swift doorknock around the local street for the Heart Foundation. A terrific spring day, bright sunshine and a cool, crisp wind. Blossoms everywhere.

And I was stunned by the outpouring of charity and goodwill. I doorknocked about 30 houses, got about 20 at home, and only 3 of those didn't give a few dollars, despite being disturbed late on a Sunday Morning by a complete stranger.
"Good Morning, Good Morning! It's that time of day again, when all the doorknockers and scroungers try to get you to part with your hard-earned cash for worthy causes. This one's for the Heart Foundation, would you care to make a Donation? $2 and up is Tax deductible."
Of the three, one was a young bloke with a house full of toddlers (I felt like giving him money rather than asking him for some, he looked as if he needed it), one was an old Greek (by the accent) who was obviously "careful with his Brass" and not about to give it away to moochers, and one was an aging Yuppie with a case of the Irrits and possibly PMT. I don't blame any of them for saying 'No'.

Everyone else – Everyone – gave me something. Sometimes only what pocket change they had immediately available. Sometimes after spending several minutes looking throughout the house for some petty cash. Always after examining my credentials and ID, they weren't paying me to go away, they wanted to "give so someone else could live".

These are people who live on my street, but most of whom I've never met. Unbelievable that such kindness could exist around me without me being aware of it.

In addition to the money, they gave me a greater gift : a restoration of my faith in the common human decency of ordinary people.

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