“The prosperity of a nation is everyone’s responsibility.” ~Chinese proverb
Those who have received the email newsletter of the same title are already familiar with the story of Mr. Chen. Those who have not read the newsletter can access the file in the Email Newsletter Archives of this site.
If you’d like to read more about the extraordinary Mr. Chen, here are several other links to news articles about him:
LA Times – “Lifeline at the bridge of despair” (2008)
The National News – “A voice of reason on Yangtze Bridge” (2008)
GQ – “The suicide catcher” (2010)
The video below shows the trailer for the 2015 documentary about his life and work. Even two minute’s worth of the story will restore your faith in the goodness of humanity.
The presentation (duration, 2:09)
Goodness is everywhere in the world, but people who exercise extreme generosity of any sort rarely seek the limelight. Authentic charitable acts are humble and at times invisible. That is proper. Our creed tells us that when you give alms (any work of generosity), you are never to “let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3).
For goodness and charitable acts to be authentic they must be free of strings. We must ask for the grace to be unfeigned in generosity because it is not a natural attitude of mind or heart. It takes effort to overcome the self. Some self-interest often lurks below the surface of our giving, looking for something in return.
Examine your heart today. Ask yourself honestly how many strings are attached to your giving. Strive to give with a generosity that seeks nothing in return. “As you have received freely, give freely.”