How charitable is cold-calling?
You may say, “what a ridiculous question, it’s obvious there is no charity in cold-calling”, yet we have seen this week how a number of large charities in the UK think it is appropriate to ‘cold-call’ people to raise money for their charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children, the British Red Cross, Macmillan and Cancer Research amongst others.
They employ companies to do the dirty work – and dirty work it is indeed. Fundraisers were apparently “ordered to be ‘brutal’ and ‘ferocious’ when asking for money”…and that people ” ‘have no excuse’ not to give, even if they are elderly or poor.” The under-cover videos in this article show the tactics that are used to get people to depart with their cash. No-one is spared from being given this opportunity to donate including elderly pensioners and those with dementia. How twisted and distorted is the thinking that converts the imposing technique of cold-calling elderly people with dementia, using tactics to coerce them to donate money to the charity and calls it ‘giving them the opportunity to donate’?
How far removed have people become from what are ethically and morally acceptable practices? To me, cold-calling people and effectively coercing and forcing them to donate, is the absolute antithesis of charity. Whilst they may argue that no force is used, I would have to disagree. It takes a force devoid of true love and care to cold-call and force, harass, coerce, persuade, talk around, people to donate to a charity. As a consequence of this exposure the government is apparently bringing in new laws to curb such shameful tactics. However, it is in itself an indictment of the charities and the people who are implementing and condoning these practices that such laws are needed. True charity would not require such laws for it would go against the very essence of what true charity is to behave in such a way.
The word charity comes from the Latin caritas, translated variably as meaning eternal love, unconditional love, God’s love, love of all mankind, generous love, Christian love. The latter of course refers to the love that is the Christ that lives within every human being – not just those who profess to be Christian or who align to the Christian religion. The Christ being the energy of the soul (of love) in embodiment – something that every human being has the potential to live.
What is consistent is that it is a love that is freely given, with no attachments, expectations, investments, needs or demands. And so it follows that true charity are acts done, money given, time and space offered, with no investment of self of any kind – where there is absolutely nothing in it for us, but we do what we do and give what we give with, from and for love. It sounds simple – but perhaps is not so easy to live given our human predilections for “what’s in it for me, me, me, me?’ to take hold. There are the obvious and not so obvious investments, attachments, and other emotional hooks than can catch us out – for example:
- Do we feel better about ourselves for having given to a charity?
- Have we given just because everyone else is giving?
- Have we given out of guilt – the haves vs the have nots? Guilty that others are less well off than ourselves?
- Have we given because it is expected, but it’s not really something we want to do?
- Have we given to not be shown up in some way, to be considered uncharitable, a miser or thought to be hard of heart?
- Do we give out of pity or sympathy for those deemed less well off?
- Have we given and then resented the fact that we gave our hard–earned cash away? Or our time to a project, a charity, cause, a friend in need, when we really would have preferred to have been doing something else, something better, something for me and my family?
And so the list goes on —– if any of the above resonate, then we know we have not given in true charity but have had some investment or need for self.
And so perhaps there are not too many people or too many charities out there who are truly giving of their time and money with ZERO investment of self. Certainly all of the above charities that were exposed in the article for cold-calling and haranguing people for money using ‘boiler –room tactics’ are far, far removed from true charity.
Of course it’s always easy to point the finger at others and the real work is looking at ourselves and removing our own attachments and investments which requires a radical self-honesty to clock when we are doing something for self, when the ‘what’s in it for me’ rises up, and when it is purely and simply for the love of all. I can recognise both within myself – times when I have done something but there was an undercurrent of resentment about it, and other times when I have freely given with zero need for anything in return. The two feel quite different in my body. The first is heavy and sticky, the second is open, expansive and free-flowing.
I have been privileged to learn about and see first hand true charity at work by the living example of Serge Benhayon. For over 7 years I have witnessed and experienced him give of his time and services freely to hundreds and hundreds of people including myself over and above his paid work. But it has not just been the giving, but the quality that comes with that giving – his patience is unending, every individual is totally held, listened to and met with love no matter how big or small the issue is, there is no rushing to get away, no flicker of resentment or frustration, for there is only true caritas, true caring, true charity. The list of the ways that he has given of his time and services freely to support many across the world would fill a book.
Many have been inspired by his example and subsequently the College of Universal Medicine Charity has been established by the students of Universal Medicine and endeavours to live by and adhere to the principles of true charity – where there is no investment of self. I know for certain that cold-calling will never be a part of this charity for there is absolutely nothing charitable about call-calling and persuading people to depart with their money. If it is not freely given with love, without force, coercion, persuasion, guilt, sympathy, pity, resentment, need, attachment, expectation or investment then it is not true charity.
The College of Universal Medicine Charity is a forum through which we can return to the community that which has been given to us. We all know how much our lives have benefitted from applying and living the principles of the Ageless Wisdom as presented and lived by Serge through Universal Medicine, where lives have been transformed, people ultimately healing themselves of all kinds of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual ills and being empowered to be who they truly are and share that with the world. It is by its very nature not something that can be contained within or held for a few – but calls to be freely given to all mankind that they too may know who they are and arise out of the quagmire, misery, struggles and suffering that many find themselves in, in the knowing that they are already healed, already whole, already love and thus there is no need for any pity, sympathy, attachment or investment of any kind. True Charity is Love Blessing Love.