Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Charity is easy (Sharing is good)

Breughel, The Seven Acts of Charity
Agreed, those who have should give to those who don’t. To do this freely is charity and goodness. But who has right to receive, to take what, from whom, is a conversation that overthrew empires. Tread with care! This reminds me of a story:

It so happens that one autumn Nasreddin was appointed qadi of Aksehir. With the eagerness of the new broom, the fresh judge was impatient to clean the town of all the wrongs.

Khadija, his wife came from the market and told him,

“This morning I saw a man in rags falling down in a faint by the melon stall. So meagre he was! This is not right. The poor get poorer every day and the rich get richer.

"Why let some people hungry and angry with envy while their neighbours lie sick with fatness? And what good is heaping up coins on top of other coins? You must go and tell everybody to share like real brethren and true believers."

Hodja loved the idea. He was out the whole next day to talk with people, man to man, one by one, house by house, market, bath and caravanserai, not forgetting the mosque. He explained the moral duty of sharing, to everyone, until his throat got sore.

Late evening Nasreddin returned home exhausted but satisfied.

“Woman," he said, "half of the work is done. In only one day I convinced all the poor of the town, without exception, that all riches must be shared."

"Now there only remains, for tomorrow, to do the other half, and to convince the rich.”

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