Coming next at Pacific Theatre is Mother Teresa is Dead by Helen Edmundson, a look at the reality of charity in the West through the lens of a young mother who abandons her husband and son in London to care for street children in India. In a story that draws together the needs of the developed and developing nations, we ask what is more important: making sure your child has the best life possible, or making sure another child has the chance to live?
Charity is spoken of over 100 times in the Bible, and you would be hard-pressed to find a spiritual practice that doesn’t place a high value on caring for others’ needs. Yet each religion, denomination, church, and individual believer has their own interpretation of what it means to be charitable and how those teachings are to be interpreted.
To launch the conversation, here is a collection of quotes expressing some of the points of view on charity explored in Mother Teresa is Dead:
“Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” Matthew 19:21
“Charity . . . is the opium of the privileged.” – Chinua Achebe
“Charity, if you have the means, is a personal choice, but charity which is expected or compelled is simply a polite word for slavery.” – Terry Goodkind
“‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 22:16
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa
“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” – Jack London
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” – Mahatma Ghandi
“Charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.” – Muhammad Yunus