Charity Doth Call My Spirit Forth

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Charity that comes from the heart is an act of love and compassion where the spirit reveals itself in all of its divine glory. It raises us up ever so slightly so that our feet seem to lose touch with the ground, if only briefly. With each charitable act, a wave of happiness and fulfillment washes over us and for those few moments, we understand the meaning and purpose of life. We realize that our joy comes from giving of ourselves—our spirit selves—to others.

But too often these moments are fleeting. When our feet touch the ground again, we find ourselves yearning to soar once more, free of the constraints, obligations, and selfish desires of the physical life. But it is not our time to fly away just yet. We must prove ourselves worthy of wings.

It is my belief that charity is a human and spiritual responsibility. We must strive to make charity a central part of our everyday life. Charity is an important way that we can express our spirit or spirituality. In its pure form it is an act of unselfish love and compassion with no expectation or desire for material gain or recognition.

If you make a big deal about how much you contribute to charity or about things you do to help others, you seek to raise yourself up in the eyes of others. On the other hand, if you are humble and your charity is motivated only by genuine caring for others, you raise yourself up in the eyes of God.

The charity of a spiritual person is generally done privately and seen only by those they are helping, or by the charitable foundation receiving their donations. That is to say, they do it because they see people in need and they know the right thing to do is help if they can.

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Eulogy on the Demise of Character

The Generation of Character Source: Family Archives, circa 1944

The Generation of Character
Source: Family Archives, circa 1944

There was a time when the social, economic, and political currency was character. What I mean by a person of character is one who exhibits honesty, integrity, courage, and ethical behavior. How many people do you know who consistently display these attributes? Sadly, it seems they are rather scarce these days.

I knew such a person. My father who recently passed away was such a man. He was a member of the so-called ”Greatest Generation.” They were the people who grew up during the Great Depression and went on to fight in World War II. One of the hallmarks of the majority of that generation was steadfast honesty in business dealings as well as interpersonal interactions. I prefer to call them the Generation of Character.

My father was the most honest person I have ever known. He had his own business and had a reputation for honesty and integrity. He charged only what a job actually cost in terms of material and labor. He took pride in his work and used only materials of the highest quality. His profit margin was small, and his word was his bond. Moreover, he did his best to hold others to a similar standard when they provided business services or products to him.

He didn’t make a lot of money, and never had or asked for a lot. Yet, he was quite content knowing that he did his best to always do the right thing in every situation. The high road came naturally to him, so there was never a dilemma concerning which path to follow. He wasn’t perfect, but he got the important stuff right.

As far as I can tell, character was the mind-set of many members of the Greatest Generation—soon to be extinct. The depression and the war taught many of them humility and that God can take away all that we have at any time. It taught them to treasure family and friends, because they are with us for an indeterminant, and sometimes painfully short period of time.

For my own part, I lament, not only the loss of my father, but also the loss of character in so many members of contemporary society. What descriptor will historians use to characterize the present generations? What legacy of lifestyle will they (we) leave for future generations? Can character ever again dominate the human psyche and way of life of the majority?

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms
Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

As noted in my book and in previous blog articles, I believe that our true life is one of spirit. That is why I promote the idea of living a life of spirit rather than one anchored in the physical world.

We were created in spirit and will remain so forever more. Our spiritual existence does not stop or go into abeyance during the brief periods when we are clothed with a physical body. We may lose touch with our spirit-self from time to time, stupefied by the many distractions of the physical world.

But in the background, out of the din, our spirit cries out for expression. The challenge is to have the presence of mind and desire to hear it.

Our spirit calls to us with the sweet, soft voice of a lover, to remind us that we exist in the ethereal spaces between the atoms of the physical world. We are merely passers by and should consider what spiritual legacy we wish to leave behind in the physical world, because that is the only thing that will follow us when it is time move on.

While all that is composed will eventually be decomposed, our spirits will continue to exist as a part of our everlasting Creator. Just as He has always existed and always will, so shall we.

Note: The last paragraph above relates to my blog article of August 2, 2013 titled All That Is Composed Shall Be Decomposed.