Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Charity perfects connectivity

IT´S good that there is a growing sense of connectivity that is now palpable these days. One just has to look around and realize how the steady crawl of linkages among persons and entities in different levels of society is developing.

Technology, for sure, has a lot to do with it. The mobile phone, the Internet, the social network systems, etc., are quickening the pace of communication. With them, we can get in touch with practically anyone in any part of the world.

In a way, these modern means of communication have an equalizing effect on the people. That´s because even if there are several grades and levels involved, the fact remains that they have a much larger coverage than previously known. A lot more people are drawn into the communication loop now than before.

Together with this technological angle is, of course, a growth in the sensitivity of people, especially the young ones and even the old, retired ones, toward the need to communicate.

I´m amused to see both my very young nephews and nieces and my rather elderly aunties, already pushing 80, quite adept especially in the social network. I suspect they are the ones that keep the lines abuzz, or the cyberwaves clogged. All of sudden, the world has become much smaller, and more people, despite distance and age, get close to each other.

In schools, young students are continually taught the many possibilities of the new technologies. Innovations keep on popping up, providing people with still more ways to communicate.

Obviously, the big guys are also happy with these developments. Those in business and politics, those trying to monitor social and cultural changes, etc., derive great benefit from these novel things.

And it´s truly heartwarming to note that not only the pace but also the quality of business and politics is improving. That´s because with these gadgets the potentials of participative government are unleashed. Both politicians and citizens, businessmen and consumers, are now more sensitive to the requirements of the common good.

Let´s hope this trend goes on, without forgetting that there is also a need to be vigilant over abuses and other bad effects, usually unintended, that can spoil this development. We have to remember to practice some kind of restraint and moderation in the use of these new gadgets. They can lead us to some info overload that would not be healthy to us.

In this regard, it might be helpful to remind ourselves that the real and proper motor to drive and guide us in this new waters of communication is charity. Let´s not disparage that truth, again considering it as something irrelevant to our current state of development.

Charity can never become obsolete nor useless. It cannot and should not be held as something so other-worldly that it can have nothing to do with our earthly, mundane affairs. In fact, the opposite is true.

Charity is the very soul of our life and everything in it—our thoughts, words and deeds, our business, politics and all kinds of human dealings. It is what brings all these things to their proper foundation, their proper end, and to their proper ways.

We need to disabuse ourselves from the erroneous mentality, sadly quite common these days, of considering charity as impractical. This is actually the main problem we have now. We tend to view things almost exclusively from the practical point of view, as if everything depends on practicality.

Charity demands more things from us precisely because we are not mere animals who happen to be rational and who are just ruled by the law of practicality. We are persons and children of God, meant to enter to a real communion of life and love with God and with everybody else.

Charity tells us more things about what we need to communicate and how to do it. It equips us with a greater sensitivity that lets us fathom deeper things in persons and events. It enables us to understand and to take advantage of sufferings in this life, and of the many negative things that can come to us—our mistakes and failures, our sins, etc.

Charity links us ultimately to God, our last and final end.

Practicality is incapable of doing these things. It tends to treat us not as persons but as objects to be used. We have to be wary of this tendency that seems to afflict us these days like a sweet poison that we gladly take everyday.

It´s time that we sit down and make a serious inventory of the requirements of charity.

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