In a beautiful gospel passage (Luke 21, 1–4), Jesus watches people making their offerings in the temple. Many rich gave out of their surplus (abundance); a poor widow puts money out of her misery (poverty). There is no prize to guess which one Jesus appreciates.
Out of the surplus means, I have enough to manage. I am self-sufficient. Whereas misery is already a dangerous situation. Giving away anything will only complicate the situation further. In one case, I get a good name. On the other, I am stepping further into danger.
- A rich parent giving a lot of money to the children is part of the first case; many mothers experiencing extremely complicated surgeries (life-death situation) to give birth to her child is part of the second case.
- Some of the activism on the internet (I am a good example) belongs to the first case; activists like Stan Swamy, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj fighting for the causes even at the risk of their lives are from the second case.
- Many of us attempting to help in afforestation programs by dedicating a few days of the year belongs to the first category; Jadav Molai Payeng (forest man of India) who created a forest reserve all by himself, even after several losses to his personal resources like cattle belongs to the second category.
The first category does a lot of good. But something infinitely precious happens in the second category.
Most of us experience those special-moments (giving resulting in some discomfort or danger) once in a blue moon. Some extraordinary individuals live mostly in those special-moments. In those special-moments are born, the fraternity, the hope, the love, and the justice.