Dehumanizing the less fortunate

During the Muslim Fasting month of Ramadan, corporate philanthropists use the season to engage in the general outpouring of charitable giving. These are often large, very public events. But, there are also smaller charitable works that are not publicized. It is generally accepted that those doing charity do it from the goodness of their hearts. In most cases, this is true, however, the Devil is never far away to twist a kind action into something wicked and ugly.


A friend who, out of genuine kind-heartedness and concern for poor refugees had bought a consignment of dates to be distributed to them during Ramadan. The consignment of dates arrived and some were distributed to a few refugee families. Luckily, although sadly, community members discovered that the dates in this consignment were rather mushy and that labels with extended expiry dates had been pasted over the original expiry dates. This was a consignment of expired food passed off as still consumable. My friend had spent good money on this food donation for the underprivileged. I can imagine how she felt to have her good intention used to cheat her as well as to deceive the less fortunate.

This is not the first time, that such cruelty has been perpetrated by persons turning the purity of kindness and generosity into an opportunity to profit by deception. Sometimes, false donors do false charity by treating the less fortunate in an inhuman way.

After the Tsunami Disaster of 2004, donations of food, clothes and various other things poured in, in huge collections, for the victims of the disaster. A portion of these things were either unsuitable, unusable or just items to be thrown away. Some of the food donated was also expired food. Why do some people think that the expired food they do not want to consume is alright for others to consume? Do they think that this is charity or is it simply an exhibition of contempt and disrespect for the human dignity of the less fortunate? How would they feel if the tables were turned?

It would be more honest and less hypocritical, if such individuals did not ‘donate’ to any cause they don’t believe in. Perhaps, they don’t believe in giving to the less fortunate, at all.

May be the pretense is to satisfy others and divert their fear of being seen as selfish. Or they believe that things to be given away free must be things one would put in the trash. The less fortunate are not treated as human beings but even less than pet poodles.

Hypocrisy plays a part in many aspects of life, from the high powered political to the very mundane. Those who practice it seem to think they easily and cleverly deceive the larger society of humanity, little do they realize that ultimately the masses wise up to the lie. They end up deceiving no one but themselves.

There are others who think that as long as you give to those in need, it doesn’t matter what you give. It is an amoral action and they can find no wrong in giving anything not consumable, unsafe or unusable. To question ourselves of the right-ness or wrong-ness of our actions has become unfashionable, and unimportant. The motive seems to be the deciding factor; why are we afraid to admit that we do wrong?







Author: jasminetea2

A free lance writer interested in people and ways of living. An adventurer in reality and explorer of fiction. A solitary animal by nature.

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