Sr. John Says: Change your little corner of the world

Sr. John Michele Southwick

Assoc. Director, Campus Ministry

Sr. John Michele Southwick Assoc. Director, Campus Ministry

The word ‘charity’ gets thrown around a lot these days.  Is it a word that has lost its meaning in our busied and hurried world?  Is it a word that means maybe throwing a couple quarters into a fireman’s hat at a red light or buying a candy bar from a Girl Scout?  Or could it possibly mean something much deeper, something that could potentially change our little corner of the world?

According to Wikipedia, the word ‘charity’ entered the English language from the French word “charité” which came from the Latin “caritas.”  Originally it meant dearness, preciousness or high price.  “From this, in Christian Theology,  it came to be the standard Latin translation for the Greek word agapē meaning unlimited loving kindness to all.”

The majority of the people of this world claim they believe in a God and profess a belief in caring for other people.  Why then do things like the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake happen?  Six months after several hundred thousand people died in less than a day and still a million and a half people are homeless, most  countries have not given the $5.3 billion in relief aid promised to them.  Some countries still have not given anything.  The U.S. promised $1.5 billion and in July of 2010, it still had not sent any money because funds were tied up in the Congressional appropriation process.  Did we hear an outcry from the American people as we did last January 12, 2010 when the earthquake happened?  We tend to react and forget.  What would happen if people forgot us?

Charity – the preciousness of one who is in need.  And there are many, right here in our own backyard.  The student who is outcast and in need of a friend, one who is in need of a smile or a “hello,” a homeless person downtown who needs a meal, a child in a housing project who needs help with their homework, or some awareness-raising activity like the NETS FOR NETS on February 7 to raise money for malaria nets in Africa.

There are many ways to show the world you think people are precious.  Because you are precious.  God made you that way and God wants us to treat people that way.

Would you like to change your little corner of the world?