Need & Charity

Need is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Certainly, there are physical necessities in life, we need food, water, shelter, medicine. There also things which are much more difficult to call needs, love, self-esteem, will, friendship, but without them, life can be made considerably more difficult. Needs must be fulfilled if we are to survive, and abstract needs make survival worthwhile.

The freedom to need is one thing that is hard to come to terms with. Life without love or friendship or self-esteem or the plethora of other values that come and show themselves in our time on earth does not seem very fulfilling of a life at all. Freedom to need other people in order to overcome loneliness is akin to the freedom to need food to overcome hunger.

No one, however, bares any need to fulfill a need which is not his own. He may be compelled to,  but never required. Need belongs to every individual, and only to every individual himself. The choice of compassion, too, however, belongs to every individual his own.

It is your choice to fulfill another’s need, and always yours. Should you deem the charity of giving bread for another’s hunger justified, you may take pride in that, but compassion and caring and comfort in the face of need solely and only belongs to you, and there is nothing binding you to feed the world but your own sovereign being.

There is nobility in compassion for those you care about, and there is honor in charitable action. That nobility and that honor belong only to you should you choose it, and are never obligations for you. There are those in this world who it is fitting to fulfill their needs and those whose needs are best left to themselves. Only you can decide for whom to give, and only you can decide to give at all.

In appreciation of your best choice,


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