Monday, November 22, 2010

Laws of Making 6: True Making is an Embodiment of Charity

Making Monday

The third Law of Living is that True Making is an Embodiment of Charity.

Charity? Isn't that a bit touchy-feelly?

Only if your understanding of charity is limited to, "giving to the poor." True making embodies charity in the broader sense of, "benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity," and "the [Christian] theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love."

This law flows directly from the fundamental difference between makers and users. Briefly, nothing in the universe is more important than self for the user: things have significance only to the degree that they are a means to an end. Makers acknowledge that others (be they things or individuals) have as much right to exist as they they themselves do: that things can be ends in and of themselves, apart from what they may signify to their makers.

Making is about bringing something in to being and giving it an independent existence. Making arises from a genuine regard for the made thing and its context, and a belief that both are made better by the existence of the made thing.

Makers express charity during the making by having patience with the thing and the process: they see it through to the end and finish what they started. The charity continues when they let go (literally or conceptually) of the finished thing and allow it to take its place in the world.

I trust you can see how this pattern applies to many different kinds of endeavors like writing novels and raising children.

Image: Bill Longshaw /

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