[EDITORIALS]Culture of love is neededThe Community Chest of Korea has set up a “thermometer of love,” marking the amount of charitable donations collected on street corners, through automated telephone services and by sales of badges, called “seeds of love.”
By yesterday, the thermometer showed that the temperature of this society’s love was 52 degrees, indicating that 51.4 billion won ($48.5 million) had been collected. Since the campaign began in 1998, it is the first time that the temperature of love has gone up this fast.
It went higher than 50 degrees only 15 days after the campaign began this year. The society has been facing a slow economy, so the news is encouraging.
Nonetheless, we see the need for improvement.
A large portion of the donations is made by companies. In the past, corporate contributions comprised about 70 percent of the total, with individuals making the rest. This year, 90 percent of the donations so far are from companies.
The U.S. charity United Way of America says 70 percent of its contributions come from individual donors. About 89 percent of the U.S. households are donating to support various volunteer activities, and the contribution amounts to 3.1 percent of an average household income.
It is evident that small donations from many people, not major gifts from corporations, are leading the culture of contribution.
A culture of contribution dependent on large donations of a few cannot grow into the culture of sharing. It is important to share small things in order to share hardships of the needy neighbors in a community.
A donation made by pressure or sense of responsibility, not by communal awareness, is simply inappropriate.
Nurturing the culture of sharing starts in the home. The end of the year is the best time to remember the needy and participate in the sharing of love. There are many elderly and young students suffering from hunger.
There are also many disabled people who face physical challenges as well as financial difficulties. Migrant workers are also enduring loneliness and discrimination. It is our job to make them feel cared for at the end of this year.
Donation is not a privilege of the wealthy. We must remember the old saying that 10 people can share a piece of one bean.