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Thread: Hurdles: What stops you

  1. #1

    Hurdles: What stops you

    Hi everyone,

    We are going to move on from the ďwhy we shouldĒ give or do charity work. But as we progress, if thoughts or ideas come up feel free to go back and add to the Generosity Dana Thread

    Now we will be talking about the hurdles of giving and charity work. For this I would like everyone to think about their personal hurdles. There is no wrong answer here, but I will ask you think deeply on this.

    An example would be if someone says, ďI donít give because I donít have money.Ē I might come back and ask them to think through this more, arenít there other ways to give than just with money. It is not a judgement about the statement itself, but I really want people to think hard about what prevents them from giving. Sometimes the surface is one thing, and then deeper there is another hurdle. Knowing why it is hard, will help you going forward to craft a project for yourself that is attainable and maybe helps you overcome your hurdles.

    Iíll share my personal story on this.

    I live in an area where there are lots of homeless people at the moment. I found myself a few years ago starting to avoid them. I would walk to other entrances, pretend to be on my phone, etc. Shortly before Christmas we had a sudden cold snap, and it was really hard on the homeless community, so many were out begging for warm meals because winter shelters hadnít been opened yet. I finally got up the nerve to buy some hot soup and put a few dollars in a bag and give it to a guy. But I had built up such a wall around avoiding them, that when I walked out of the store (even though I had the items) I found myself having trouble taking them to him.

    Thatís when I knew the avoidance was the problem. It wasnít saying no, or sorry I donít have any cash or anything like that. But because I had started to avoid themÖ and had put a label to ďthemĒ as something to be avoided, that I had a huge hurdle.

    I wasnít seeing homeless people as people anymore. I was sad and mad at myself for doing that, so I made a New Yearís resolution. Every week when I went to the store I got back $5 in one-dollar bills. That way anytime during the week that someone asked me for money I didnít have an excuse. I did this for several months, so I could get used to talking to people who I had avoided.

    This all happened a few years ago, but I found just a couple weeks ago that it has worked and stayed with me. Walking into a store I was stopped by a man who was asking for money to help pay for a funeral. This isnít all that odd in my area I live in because we are all working class, and Iíve been told it is also cultural for the neighborhood and town to help each other when someone dies. In any case, instead of avoiding or walking by I stopped listened to his story and told him I would be back in a few minutes. Coming back out I handed him some money, told him good luck and gave him a hug.

    To end this story, I will say the following, I donít normally give to people who are begging on the streets unless I have seen them around a lot and know they are definitely homeless. My area doesnít have a ton of services and getting to the areas that do is very difficult in SoCal where we all need cars to do almost anything.

    A couple reminders, please understand that this story isnít about giving money. For me the importance of what I was doing was working on myself and treating people like people. Now (because I usually donít give money), I at least acknowledge people who are begging, asking for donations, etc. I say Iím sorry and wish them luck. Most appear happy that I actually make eye contact, donít say it as I trying to avoid them and generally talk to them like a person.

    Please join us in this discussion by doing one or more of the following:
    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.
    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didnít go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didnít work out?
    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday

    P.S. Please remember to be supportive of everyoneís personal experience, we all go through the same stuff differently.
    Dog meme.jpg
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    I will be thinking about my answers for a few days maybe, thanks, Shoka.

    Gassho, sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  3. #3
    This is a good topic Shoka, thank you!
    I am with you on the social discomfort when approaching those in need, and I have also made a lot of progress in that area over time. It was similar, first noticing the discomfort and then consciously taking steps to overcome it.

    My main obstacle these days is fear of commitment! If Iím not careful, I get (internally) whiny about giving up my time. I also have trouble already with organizing and prioritizing tasks. So I do tend to take the ďeasierĒ way out and make monetary contributions whenever I can. I have a couple of charities on monthly automatic payments.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  4. #4
    Thank you Shoka. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  5. #5
    Thank you.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Thank you Shoka. I will give this some more thought.

    Gassho Kyotai
    ST

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  7. #7
    Hi Shoka,

    Thank you for this thread.


    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.
    Personally I see my own ego as a hurdle. Some times people come to me asking for help or advise and I have to make them wait because I am in the middle of a project or helping out some other people. This happened to me just yesterday. I teach English to a couple of kids and I also spend time with a kid with Down's Syndrome. I was in the middle of an English session and this kid came to spend the afternoon with me. Sometimes we take a walk or work with plants or I tell him stories. But yesterday I had to say NO. And I felt terrible but I can't attend to all at the same time

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didn’t go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didn’t work out?
    In many places in South America there's this social experiment in winter time when people hang out coats, scarves and blankets in public places. They are free to take for anyone who need them.

    So here at home we gathered some sweaters, scarves and beanies and hanged them in a park. The next morning a guy in the local market was selling our clothes! I felt really bad about it because I donated the clothes in a good spirit of helping someone, not to allow some smart guy to sell stuff without effort.

    Then I discovered myself making a lot of judgments and creating stories in my head. I let them go and we simply went to another park to hang a couple clothes more.

    And more recently... I helped as much as I could to send money for the victims of the huge earthquake we had last year. I rallied people in other countries, neighbors, friends... we collected a good amount of money and sent it to the relief fund. This past few days an scandal exploded: some government officials stole the money (billions of dollars!) and after 6 months of the earthquake, government said there was no money for reconstruction. And people is still living on the street with no hope, jobs, homes or even food.

    So what do we do? Keep on helping of course. But this time bypassing the government.


    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well.
    I enjoy working close to people. Teaching zazen or basic Buddhism to small groups works really fine. This has served me to be in touch with a lot of friends in many cities and help them in whatever way I can.

    I also think that helping and teaching young people is great because if I can show them that kindness and compassion work, maybe they'll learn to apply them to their lives. Who knows

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  8. #8
    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.

    It is usually my own ego, the desire in that moment to be doing something more pleasing or enjoyable for myself or my immediate family and loved ones. It is hard to give away my money, my food, my time. I am afraid that I am far from sainthood in that regard. I am a "middle way" fellow on this, who believes that we must have balance, and allocate our resources in units. The Buddha, in his advice to lay people on how to spend their money, seemed to say the same, and I think that Dogen and most of the other Zen folks used to keep some time for their other-directed activities and a time for themself. They would make sure that others were fed and sheltered, but also that they themselves were fed and sheltered. The Buddha also spoke of various kinds of giving ...

    Three kinds of gift are mentioned in Buddhism, namely:

    1: Amisa dana: The gift of material things,
    2: Abhaya dana: The fearless gift of life,
    3: Dhamma dana: The gift of real Truth...

    Amisa dana: – or the gift of material things is practised by people
    of all religions and is very common. Food, clothes and houses are
    given to people of little means or to refugees through various
    religious and social organizations. It is, no doubt, a good thing to
    satisfy the hunger of the starving & the yearning of the thirsty.
    This type of donation is highly recommended in Buddhism and
    is called the Amisa dana. (The donation of material things).

    Next comes the Abhaya dana: - or giving life to those whose lives
    are in danger caused by fire, water or enemies. Sometimes we
    hear of people, who are about to die due to lack of blood.
    To donate blood and save another human's life is indeed a great
    thing. Donation of eyes and kidneys is also highly appreciated
    and comes under Abhaya dana – fearless donation of life.

    The last one: Dhamma dana: - or the gift of Truth of the Doctrine
    is said to be the highest of all donations on earth. Why so?
    Because it opens the Door to the Deathless Dimension!
    There is no other giving, which is even remotely comparable.
    The Buddha also wrote this in the Dighajanu Sutta

    "And what does it mean to maintain one's livelihood in tune? There is the case where a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' Just as when a weigher or his apprentice, when holding the scales, knows, 'It has tipped down so much or has tipped up so much,' in the same way, the lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' If a lay person has a small income but maintains a grand livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman devours his wealth like a fruit-tree eater.' If a lay person has a large income but maintains a miserable livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman will die of starvation.' But when a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income,' this is called maintaining one's livelihood in tune.
    So, my solution is to allocate a certain amount of money and time for myself, for family and friends, and a certain amount for charitable and social work. I feel that the balance is never ideal, and any movie I see with my time or money I spend on a piece of pie could still go to help another.


    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didn’t go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didn’t work out?


    Like many folks, I have had the case of trying to help an individual, by giving money or time, and it blows up in my face. In other cases, I have offered help and it has made a difference. One never knows. In one case, I took in a friend with a drug problem to help him clean up, and he ended up stealing from my house to buy more drugs.

    One just has to do what one thinks is helpful in the moment, and hope for the best. Don't let the failures make us too jaded. I am hesitant, I must admit, to give money directly to the homeless, and prefer donations to soup kitchens and larger programs to make sure that the money is well used.

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)

    I hope that I described that above.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Hey everyone,

    So I'm going to share my biggest hurdles.

    1. Volunteering isn't easy

    A couple Ango's ago, I had a commitment to volunteer at an animal shelter. I have one right behind my house, so I figured it would be easy. On the weekend go over, spend an hour or two walking dogs. Awesome and simple. When I called them I was shocked, the only hours for volunteering were 1-5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. I inquired if they needed help on the weekends, or feeding in the mornings since they had to feed the dogs in the morning. The answer was simple, "nope, we only have volunteer time from 1-5, Mon-Fri."

    So I decided to look at a city shelter. Well the story there was even harder. You needed to attend an orientation which only took place one a month during the week. Then commit to 40 hours of volunteer time in 3 months, and you were committed to a specific shift.

    I'm often shocked how difficult it is to get started volunteering. You can't just show-up and help. And there aren't many opportunities for one-time volunteering, most places I have looked at have a process and require a certain level of commitment which I can't seem to make work with my schedule which changes continually.

    2. A time Volunteering didn't work out so well

    Ok, so if you followed the SF Retreat, we did find a place to volunteer (which wasn't easy... Byokan rocked at finding something! I gave up after a week of searching and coming up dry.) Now something you have to know about me is I'm detailed oriented, I want to know the goal and figure out the best way to accomplish it.

    At the food pantry our group was assigned to sort huge boxes of goods that had come in. We were told sort them into food and not food. So off we went sorting. Then we are told no wait this is wrong, cereals need to go together, and we can't accept "health products" so those have to go out. A little later we are told, no you can't put this with that sort food, personal items, home items, cereal, and paper products. Ok off we go to resort stuff we had mixed together.

    This kept going, with what could go and couldn't go changing. Then I asked a questions and was told, "it's not that hard, just sort it. Food is food."

    After that I just started doing it my way and didn't ask anymore questions because I'm good with specific directions; but if you keep changing the game I get annoyed. In the end, we sorted a lot of stuff. My sister and I made a list of the top 5 things we would change to make the experience better. But it was a reminder for me that I don't do well working with some charities because they often are not very well organized and I end up annoyed and feeling like me time and skills were wasted.

    3. Charitable Act that worked out well

    I'm far from Suzie Homemaker, but somehow at my last job I ended up on the party planning committee. How I'm still not sure, cause it really wasn't my thing. But I used it as an opportunity to plan a charitable event for my office. During the holidays we partnered with a local senior center who had a tree with "wishes" from the seniors. Things like slippers, thermals, lotion, etc. We got a bunch of the items from the tree, then challenged our office to fill the wishes.

    I didn't want anyone to feel left out because maybe they didn't have much money to spend, so we made sure to get wishes that were big and small. And also offered that people could donate cash or volunteer to be an elf and do wrapping. Additionally we got holiday cards and told people they could also spend time writing notes and those would be taken to the center to go with the gifts.

    At first not everyone was into the idea, but after a few days people started bringing items in, cards got written and before we knew it there was an overflowing box of items and enough cards so all the senior would have one.

    It was great to see everyone take a little time and come together to make it all happen.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    This is a good topic Shoka, thank you!
    I am with you on the social discomfort when approaching those in need, and I have also made a lot of progress in that area over time. It was similar, first noticing the discomfort and then consciously taking steps to overcome it.

    My main obstacle these days is fear of commitment! If I’m not careful, I get (internally) whiny about giving up my time. I also have trouble already with organizing and prioritizing tasks. So I do tend to take the “easier” way out and make monetary contributions whenever I can. I have a couple of charities on monthly automatic payments.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Jakuden,

    I totally understand the concern with commitment. For me, it's not really my time. But my ability to be flexible and have a schedule that changes as needed. I just can't bring myself to be tied to a specific time I have to do something every week, because my weeks change from day to do.

    Thanks for your answers.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didn’t go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didn’t work out?
    In many places in South America there's this social experiment in winter time when people hang out coats, scarves and blankets in public places. They are free to take for anyone who need them.

    So here at home we gathered some sweaters, scarves and beanies and hanged them in a park. The next morning a guy in the local market was selling our clothes! I felt really bad about it because I donated the clothes in a good spirit of helping someone, not to allow some smart guy to sell stuff without effort.

    Then I discovered myself making a lot of judgments and creating stories in my head. I let them go and we simply went to another park to hang a couple clothes more.

    And more recently... I helped as much as I could to send money for the victims of the huge earthquake we had last year. I rallied people in other countries, neighbors, friends... we collected a good amount of money and sent it to the relief fund. This past few days an scandal exploded: some government officials stole the money (billions of dollars!) and after 6 months of the earthquake, government said there was no money for reconstruction. And people is still living on the street with no hope, jobs, homes or even food.

    So what do we do? Keep on helping of course. But this time bypassing the government.
    Kyonin,

    I think these two stories are really important. We can't know what people are going to do with donations that are given.

    We had a guest speaker a while back, I'll have to go search for the zazenkai and put a link. But basically someone asked the question about this, and his response was great, "you have to put the gift out there, and it will do what is does." (I'm totally paraphrasing, but I'll find the zazenkai and link it.)

    Just because what we wanted to happened didn't happen, doesn't mean that we stop putting the gift out there.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoka View Post
    Hey everyone,

    So I'm going to share my biggest hurdles.

    1. Volunteering isn't easy

    A couple Ango's ago, I had a commitment to volunteer at an animal shelter. I have one right behind my house, so I figured it would be easy. On the weekend go over, spend an hour or two walking dogs. Awesome and simple. When I called them I was shocked, the only hours for volunteering were 1-5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. I inquired if they needed help on the weekends, or feeding in the mornings since they had to feed the dogs in the morning. The answer was simple, "nope, we only have volunteer time from 1-5, Mon-Fri."

    So I decided to look at a city shelter. Well the story there was even harder. You needed to attend an orientation which only took place one a month during the week. Then commit to 40 hours of volunteer time in 3 months, and you were committed to a specific shift.

    I'm often shocked how difficult it is to get started volunteering. You can't just show-up and help. And there aren't many opportunities for one-time volunteering, most places I have looked at have a process and require a certain level of commitment which I can't seem to make work with my schedule which changes continually.

    2. A time Volunteering didn't work out so well

    Ok, so if you followed the SF Retreat, we did find a place to volunteer (which wasn't easy... Byokan rocked at finding something! I gave up after a week of searching and coming up dry.) Now something you have to know about me is I'm detailed oriented, I want to know the goal and figure out the best way to accomplish it.

    At the food pantry our group was assigned to sort huge boxes of goods that had come in. We were told sort them into food and not food. So off we went sorting. Then we are told no wait this is wrong, cereals need to go together, and we can't accept "health products" so those have to go out. A little later we are told, no you can't put this with that sort food, personal items, home items, cereal, and paper products. Ok off we go to resort stuff we had mixed together.

    This kept going, with what could go and couldn't go changing. Then I asked a questions and was told, "it's not that hard, just sort it. Food is food."

    After that I just started doing it my way and didn't ask anymore questions because I'm good with specific directions; but if you keep changing the game I get annoyed. In the end, we sorted a lot of stuff. My sister and I made a list of the top 5 things we would change to make the experience better. But it was a reminder for me that I don't do well working with some charities because they often are not very well organized and I end up annoyed and feeling like me time and skills were wasted.

    3. Charitable Act that worked out well

    I'm far from Suzie Homemaker, but somehow at my last job I ended up on the party planning committee. How I'm still not sure, cause it really wasn't my thing. But I used it as an opportunity to plan a charitable event for my office. During the holidays we partnered with a local senior center who had a tree with "wishes" from the seniors. Things like slippers, thermals, lotion, etc. We got a bunch of the items from the tree, then challenged our office to fill the wishes.

    I didn't want anyone to feel left out because maybe they didn't have much money to spend, so we made sure to get wishes that were big and small. And also offered that people could donate cash or volunteer to be an elf and do wrapping. Additionally we got holiday cards and told people they could also spend time writing notes and those would be taken to the center to go with the gifts.

    At first not everyone was into the idea, but after a few days people started bringing items in, cards got written and before we knew it there was an overflowing box of items and enough cards so all the senior would have one.

    It was great to see everyone take a little time and come together to make it all happen.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    Omgosh Shoka, just yes to everything you posted!! I have found over and over that many organizations here need commitment at regular times that are not doable. I love the Christmas wishes for the seniors idea.

    As for the sorting, after the first couple of rule changes I just laughed and didnít pay much attention anymore. But I could see how all it takes is one irritating or disorganized experience to put someone off to volunteering. And yes, ďput the gift out there and see what it does.Ē So true!


    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  13. #13
    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.
    Not paying attention: Sometimes I'm completely lost in thoughts when I walk around in the streets.
    Shyness: I'm a rather introverted person and sometimes I just don't find the courage to ask people straight up if they need help.
    Doing too many things at the same time: Sometimes I just put to much "things to get done"-stuff onto my mind and then get angry if someone asks me for help.

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didn’t go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didn’t work out?
    Once I tried to help a friend of mine through a difficult time when his life literally fell apart. I thought a little cheering up would be enough when instead professional help was needed. In the end, I made things much worse because I took it too lightly and because I couldn't draw a line and let my friend drag me down with him. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for our friendship and we cut off our contact. I'm trying to avoid that kind of overconfidence and ignorance since then.

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)
    I'm not giving so much money to big charities anymore and instead look for local charities when I want to give some money to someone. Usually, that means that I have to put more effort in research because I don't want to give money blindly to any charity. But for me it is also nice to see that my money or stuff has some visible effect. Like seeing playgrounds being built or watching people skillfully using "my" tools that were previously just rotting in the shed

    Gassho,
    Souchi

    SatToday

  14. #14
    Thanks Shoka and everyone who has shared - this is a great idea.

    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.

    I have trouble with judging how much is enough... this is especially hard because I work for a charity and sometimes find myself weighing up the value of being employed to provide support in contrast to giving time or money outside work. On the one hand, I choose to earn less than I would in the private sector to reach those most in need. On the other, I benefit financially from the support I provide, which makes me question whether it is ever an act of true generosity.

    I've also experienced the negative impacts of giving too much, neglecting myself in favour of supporting others. The decline in my own emotional health then becomes a hurdle.

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didn’t go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didn’t work out?

    In the past, I've tended to support others by assisting and encouraging them to move forward, to grow, to develop, to make positive changes... I recognise now that these were missed opportunities to show someone that they are loved and valued just the way they are (messy bits included).

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)

    A few years ago I made the decision to pay a small monthly donation to a national children's charity. The money comes out automatically so I don't forget. Before you know it, it's been a few years and you've donated a meaningful sum that could change someone's life for the better. It sounds simple but my point is that little and often adds up.

    Gassho,
    Enjaku
    Sat
    援若

  15. #15
    What stops me? Drugs and alcohol. There are many homeless people where I work. They line up at the traffic lights on the way home and ask for money. I do not know if they are using they money to fuel their addiction. A coworker gave one guy some money and a few days lager he was arrested for selling heroin on the street.

    What did not work? Years ago there was a famous American football player who was also a Christian minister. Racists burned his church down and I gave a donation to rebuild it. He later made speeches where he stereotypes Asians, Native Americans, Latinos, and white people. He also said gays were sinners and did not deserve any rights. Is this what he would preach in his church? Is that what my money went to?

    What works? I do payroll deductions to two local charities. Also for 30+ years I have sponsored children through Child Fund International. I receive progress reports about education, vaccinations, STD awareness, etc. I also get hand written letters from the kids verifying what they spend the money on.

    Gassho LAH
    Sat Today
    James

  16. #16
    Hello everyone,
    and thank you for sharing your stories .
    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.
    I know myself being not very consistent at keeping to certain times or certain commitments . So I'd say lack of truly committing to something/someone is my hurdle .

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didnít go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didnít work out?
    I remember having similar thoughts not wanting giving money to beggars, since I was n't sure if the money goes for good case. Couple years ago I decided that I'm not the one who has right to judge anyone or anyones decision. The begging itself is a "punishment", why should I add my judgement on top to that? How would that be any way of helpful for that person? No one likes to beg, so that kind of life is already (probably) being judged by themselves . So if I give money I'm very clear that I have no idea or wish or hope as to what happens to that money. From that moment on when it has left my hand, it's not mine anymore. So I don't know if that "works" or "does n't work out" .
    So I decided to give what I have - either it's food (I have usually something with me since I can't buy so conveniently from anywhere when I'm hungry), sometimes it's money (sometimes I give all/almost all what I have with me, just to be very clear for myself that I can give something I myself value the most .) , sometimes it's a smile and hello .

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)
    I don't have any charity works where I'm constantly participating . I don't have any good answers as to why not . I'm sorry .
    Now I remember I donated 10% of my income a young (under age) parent who wanted to finish high school. That was one-time project that worked really well .

    Gassho,
    isattoday and also LAH

  17. #17
    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.

    Giving money to folks on the street is hard/ worrisome because I wonder if they are just getting money for drugs. I wonder if it would be different if I took the time to take them to a restaurant or place to stay personally. Have to think on that some more as safety concerns pop into my head.

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didn't go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didn't work out?
    I've tried some teaching for Red Cross that didn't feel very comfortable now, in spite of having memories of enjoying it in years past. It's almost as if the universe is teaching me something about the impermanence of memory and personality.

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)

    I still really enjoy most of the work I do as a Red Cross volunteer. I get back much more in good feelings of accomplishment that if I'd gotten paid money. Part of it is I do what I do when I want to, or feel led to rather than have a boss tell me I have to.





    sat
    LAH

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  18. #18
    Thanks for the thread Shoka, and thanks to everyone for sharing their stories

    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity.

    Like in other areas I get perfectionist about this. I need to research the charity, make sure that the money will be well spent. I like to try and investigate the ramifications of the charitable acts, because often times what seems like a good idea turns out to have negative consequences. I also have my own rules - one of them is I don't like to just give money, I want to be a participant in the activity if I can. All this "work" slows me down and can get me thinking in circles about the best way to go.

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didnít go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didnít work out?

    Well, for Ango I first volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. I think it is a good cause and I felt I could really get in there and literally work for others, and see tangible results from my efforts. But they didn't have any projects going and I ended up just sitting around. I helped out in the store but I could tell they were just making busy work for me.

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)

    I moved from Habitat for Humanity to a horse rescue facility. This turned out to be a much better experience. I could use my skills to work with horses that were a problem for the center so I felt like I was really contributing, they got help that they needed, and most importantly the horses lives became better. The key thing for me is that I was doing something where I could use my skills, and it was something I felt strongly about. That really helped. I will admit that, at first, I thought I should be doing something more people focused. But, honestly, I think I did more good with the horses than I could in most places trying to help people.

  19. #19
    1. Share a hurdle. What stops you from doing charity work, giving money, or just a LAH activity

    The biggest hurdle is me. Anything else I offer here would be an excuse. I find being in new settings or around people I donít know very uncomfortable (classic introvert) so I tend to avoid those in favour of things that suit me (see below)

    2. Share past stories of engaged work that didnít go the way you expected. What acts have you tried in the past that didnít work out?

    I honestly can not think of anything but I havenít really tried anything out of the box either. I tend to stick to tried and true

    3. Share what has worked for you. Is there some charitable act that works well for you, explain why it works well. (Other people might not have thought of that one.)

    I find it much easier to donate my money than my time. We have a charities that we give to regularly. They are on a monthly automatic withdrawal. Easy but I suppose it loses a bit of its presence since it happens somewhat mindlessly. On the other hand I donít believe those on the receiving end care.

    When it comes to donating my time I find engaged acts that involve cleanup or setup or other things that is just physical labour more suited to me than something where I need to engage with people.

    One thing I have done in the past is volunteered to help out more around the house (cooking, cleanup etc) so my wife can volunteer outside the home. She is a stay at home mom and is more outgoing than me so it is a bit of a win win. She gets to get out and be with people. I get to help her and make it easier for her so I am indirectly helping others too
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  20. #20
    Thank you everyone for your replies. There are some themes that seem to pop out a hurdles for several people.

    Thank you to those who shared, I'm sure there are others who are reading along, nodding in agreement and not feel as lone in why it's so hard.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

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