London and New York are the home of enumerable NGO’s,
Non Government Organizations, based around charity and assistance to the poor, which is not surprising as these cities are premier (maybe, the premier) Western cities, largely due to them being colossal financial centres.
You need to make money to give it away.
Capitalism, for all its publicised failings remains the only significant conduit of charity; socialism, in its extremer versions, depletes nations, as it does not and will not recognise the aspirational values essential to our humanity that are espoused by the prosperous, and erstwhile Christianised West. And remember which way people jumped at the Berlin Wall.
We have also lived through an era of unprecedented wealth. This does have consequences in the consciences of the current generation who are flocking to careers in charity.
This is a little strange it is to be admitted – a career in charity – but not so surprising considering the milieu we live in.
I heard of a young man who wanted to help the world’s poor, but would not think of being employed for much less than $150,000 per annum. Anecdotes don’t prove anything but they give off clues.
It is laudable, to want to help. It displays social conscience, even if it is fueled by the era we live in, rather than an abiding love for the creature made in God’s image, and the question – when is enough, enough? These things don’t invalidate charity but they may point to it being not as pure as it appears, and the more so when you see the wages bills for many NGO’s.
God’s church has been involved in care, normally sacrificially, for centuries. It needs neither prompting by social conditions nor the embarrassment of having so much when so many have so little, to get on with the task. But it doesn’t advertise itself, is seldom given the due deserved nor does it get asked to the best tables. And it doesn’t need to.
It isn’t a career – it is a calling.
Written by Simon McIntyre