I’ve been working on something for a silent auction for a charity this week and have attempted to discern what the word “charity” really means. My mind goes in different directions when considering the term. Initially, I remember my days in Rainbow, an organization with roots in Masonry. I can still remember the teachings about “faith, hope and charity.”
Now, the word makes me think about charitable events. Often these are occasions where people get dressed up and socialize while being enticed to donate sums of money to charity.
My other thought revolves around those individuals who benefit from charity. The dictionary indicates that charity involves “generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless.” Those who make donations to charity often feel good about their efforts to help humanity.
I must admit that as I worked on my auction item, I was more interested in making a good showing than in the charitable part of my efforts. Would my piece look OK amongst the other offerings? Would it contribute well to the auction?
The first piece didn’t fly with the two men who looked at it. Neither indicated that they would bid on it. If the men wouldn’t bid on it, I decided it wasn’t right.
Late the evening before the piece was due, I started anew. Working late and picking it up again the next day, I did finish at the appointed time. As I designed this piece, I thought about the title of the charity event, The Cattle Baron’s Ball and the idea of a rope or lariat seemed appropriate. I don’t know if this piece is better or not, but it IS finished and has been delivered. The gemstone is a beautiful piece of amethyst from Magpie Gemstones.
Another of my pieces was donated by a boutique I serve for a charity event in a west Texas town. I was especially pleased that the boutique owner chose some of my work. I’d been calling this “ethnic”, but she termed it “tribal”.
I have to say that I’m a bit unhappy with myself over my concern for how my work would show up at these auctions. I think that’s pretty selfish. My focus should have been on how I might solicit the most money for the charities. The products would probably have remained the same, but I would have felt better about them. I think it all stems as to whether my charitable donation was for the needy or for myself.
Either way, I’ve learned something. I would appreciate my own efforts more if I focused on charity as love which is the term used in some of the newer versions of the Bible (faith, hope and love). Next time, I want to make that auction piece for the right reason.