In both situations, I fear that the original concept of ‘charity’ has been lost. As Mother Theresa once said, “Charity isn’t about pity, it’s about love”. Or, as Encyclopaedia Brittanica defines it –
“Charity, in Christian thought, is the highest form of love, signifying the reciprocal love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one’s fellow men”.
Charity is the notion that is at the heart of the Golden Rule, that you should “do to others what you would have them do to you”. Or, as Jesus said in another place, we should “Love our neighbour as we love ourselves”.
Charity need not be limited to the giving of money. Rather, it is an attitude of seeing a need and wanting to help. Charles Dickens put it this way – “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another”.
Charity, as I am describing it, is also represented in the St Paul’s Character Framework, where the first two virtues listed are Kindness & Compassion, and Generosity. Charity, when properly understood, is not limited to those who are rich. Rather, charity is an obligation that we all have towards one another; it is an obligation of mutual love.
In Week 4 of this term, we will celebrate our annual Pink Week. Our thinking and our giving will be directed towards those who have been impacted by breast cancer, included both those who have (or have had) the disease, as well as those who have lost loved ones. Specifically, all funds raised during Pink Week will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation funding world-class breast cancer research towards the vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer.
Across the whole school (PP-12), students and staff are encouraged to come in pink-themed free dress, on Friday 12 May. Everyone in pink will be required to donate to the NBCF – at least a gold coin, more if you are able.
Then, on Saturday 13 May, we celebrate Pink Day. It is a home game for TAS sports (against Cannon Hill Anglican College) and doubles as our annual “Back to St Paul’s Day”, when all past students are encouraged to come back and catch up with old friends. It is a day of great celebration, as well as a significant fund-raiser. Can I urge all students and families to get behind this, the first of our significant charitable events of the year.