The gift of food is important, and we participate in community-wide food drives with the Grand Valley Interfaith Network to help supply the area's local food banks. But we also provide direct assistance to those who are hungry, or who are not able to obtain all the foods they require: these gifts of food are given to honor these individuals and families, their role and service in our shared community, to celebrate our friendship (even if we only just met), and in such a way that feeds their body, and their dignity. We also give food to those who beg it. As often as we have food to give.
But we also beg others to give food. And other gifts. We would beg you to give.
There is an uncanny antagonism against such beggars. Our City has invested in numerous signs to dissuade giving to beggars, suggesting that giving will not bring an end to their poverty. As if this is the reason a person should give to beggar - to end their poverty?
Hunger is merely suppressed a while by food - what gift then can conquer poverty, that it would be acceptable?
When an apology is offered, the forgiveness sought it is not to benefit the transgressor, but the one who would unnecessarily hold onto and attach to their anger. Giving reason to let go, to make a sacrifice of this anger, through penitent self-improvement is a gift worthy of giving, whether it is accepted or not.
Grass is raised for its fruit, which is harvested and made into flour. This flour might then be honored by being made into a lingam or other offering, then ultimately consumed as food. This food will soon become discarded as feces and urine - but not before it accomplishes the purpose of the grass's sacrifice by sustaining our efforts another day.
Medicine may suppress sickness a day or two, or many years - but though the patient eventually dies, the efforts of their physician are not wasted. Both giver and recipient are trained and strengthened in mind, body and heart, so they develop friendship and goodwill.
Please give. What you sacrifice will not be wasted.