Many years ago, we were staying at a Ronald McDonald house far from home while our daughter was critically ill.

Various groups would bring in dinner each night. One evening, I got talking to a volunteer. She was married to an attorney. I was too. She volunteered extensively in her community. So did I.

Instead of these commonalities being a bonding moment, she became visibly uncomfortable. My family was too close to her own socioeconomic status and her way of life. The difference was that my child was dying.

I learned a valuable lesson being on the receiving end. I learned that we are all more the same than we are different and no one wants to be treated as “less”

That was my wife’s experience and it came up in a discussion of how charity should not be used as a form of holiday entertainment.

As Thanksgiving approaches, so does the season of charity as holiday entertainment. By Henry James originally

At the same time, there are people with great needs as winter approaches, weather becomes harsh and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday are both reminders of the blessings we have had and the needs of others.

They are also the time of charity vacations and poverty zoo expeditions.

How we act in this season, in every season, is important. Charity and kindness are both important.

How we approach our brothers and sisters in need tells us a great deal about their poverty and the poverty or plenty in our hearts.