On Zakat, Or Spartan Charity

You will not find me volunteering for charity driven “causes” and the like. I am not for vainglorious philanthropy. I do not make donations to third parties. I do not believe in middle men. I need to see where my money is going. More importantly, I need to see where my help is going. I need to make eye contact. I need to feel that connection. Does that make me selfish? Does that make me a bad person? I do not believe so.

Today, I gave 7.5% of my salary to a neighbour. He was once my pot dealer. He used to be a trishaw driver. He has been thrown in jail a couple of times in the past seven years that I have known him. The last time, it was his wife who called the police. He is a heroin junkie.  I know he is a good person at heart, though he is conflicted and has many flaws. He might not have the integrity of a third party charity organization, but I feel more comfortable giving him a portion of my hard earned money than to some middle man.

I believe in a community spirit. I do not feel that sense of community in a corporate structure, especially when it is painted as “non-profit”. Maybe, I am conflicted. I probably am. Still, I will keep giving in the way that I feel most comfortable. At least, I do.

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2 Responses to “On Zakat, Or Spartan Charity”
  1. Jack Point says:

    I misread that – I though you just gave away 75% of your salary! Yes, always nicer to give to something that you can see, which is why charities try to create some connection between what you give and the results that it brings.

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