A Life of Service
Recently I have had the troubling realisation that very few people are truly charitable. Very few ordinary families work hard and live their lives to provide for the poor and needy. Even if they're not particularly wealthy themselves, what little income they have is all too often squandered on unquestioned frivolities such as designer lampshades, new cars, gluttonous snacks, or Pop Vinyls, while the homeless outside their doors starve in the streets.
People are all too happy to scrimp and save for expensive new treats, but the idea of scrimping and saving to make room for charity is practically unheard of. Again, I'm talking about ordinary secular people - not monks, nuns, or priests. Where are the ordinary people who live true lives of service, dedicated in all things to others? I know it's possible, but it seems a certain degree of materialist selfishness is culturally entrenched in our society - in all societies, even.
We have forgotten frugality. But it's not just about money. If you're poor yourself, as I am, then there's still an abundance of things you have left to give. Time, patience, hard work, kindness. If you have a lack of things to do one day, consider volunteering at a shelter rather than binging Netflix. Maybe you could trade one of your less important hobbies for campaigning on an issue you're passionate about, such as animal welfare or Uyghur solidarity. And try to treat every last human encounter with the utmost decency and respect.