Do Good Despite Ongoing Injustice
Lucy Rubin, Pretoria – In his column “How justice trumps charity” (December 25), Fr Ron Rolheiser describes a river town whose people constantly bury the dead who float past but do not seek the cause of this flow, and what he terms their opportunity for charity.
It is much more than this. Not all are called to be statesmen, politicians, mayors or popes, even. The rubbish is collected daily by those whose job no statesman would do, no matter how much justice there was in the world.
The source of injustices and our duty to rectify them is in direct proportion to our opportunity to do so. Villagers cannot stop a military junta from killing their neighbours — do the next best thing!
Fr Rolheiser mentions privatised charities where a name is placed on an institutionalised charity as being somehow corrupt. Beware of philanthropy, wonderful as it is — it can confuse the charity we are doing with the justice that is asked of us.
Continue to do good, for the world will never be ideal. Economic disparities are harsh. It is not necessarily our ticket to heaven to feed the poor, but it’s a whole lot better than throwing up our hands and saying, it’s not my fault. I voted for justice!