Charity and Generosity
Posted by Jerry on July 4, 2007
On virtues, values, charity, generosity, and self-esteem:
“As a basic step of self-esteem, learn to treat as the mark of a cannibal any man’s demand for your help. To demand it is to claim that your life is his property — and loathsome as such claim might be, there’s something still more loathsome: your agreement.
You ask if it’s ever proper to help another man? No – if he claims it as his right or as a moral duty that you owe him. Yes – if such is your own desire based on you own selfish pleasure in the value of his person and his struggle. Suffering as such is not a value; only man’s fight against suffering, is. If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the grounds of his virtue, of his fight to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still a trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help. But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need, as a claim–is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values. A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence who acts on the premise of death; to help him is to sanction his evil and to support his career of destruction. Be it only a penny you will not miss, or a small smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made.”