Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Carvajal: Generosity

ORDINARILY, only the funerals of heroes are extremely well attended. So, was Jaguar a hero that a staggering two thousand five hundred warm bodies showed up for his funeral?

We have to assume he was that in the eyes of the mourners if you consider that a hero is someone whose generosity with his time, money and on occasion life goes beyond the ordinary. Thus, while we may be rightly abhorred by his criminal life, we have to accept the fact that Jaguar’s funeral could not have drawn so many people if he was not the local generous benefactor his neighbors in Duljo-Fatima claim him to be.

This is more than one can say about many self-righteous folks who reach the pinnacle of wealth legally but cannot care less about people in need in their immediate neighborhood. What Jaguar’s funeral teaches us is that people appreciate generosity even from people that decent society condemns as evil…especially when they don’t get it from people, like civil servants and religious persons, whose mission in life is to be generous.

Jaguar’s generosity might not even have been so nobly motivated. He could’ve been generous to neighbors only so they would not squeal on him but instead protect him. One news report tells of how people in Duljo-Fatima unanimously answer “ambot” (don’t know) to anybody asking “where is Jaguar’s house?”

Nevertheless, one is left to conclude that the people who attended his funeral remember only his generosity not his life of crime. They came to tell the world that they were attending the funeral of a good neighbor, their go-to person in times of need or emergency.

Government, Church and Civil Society personalities indict and condemn Jaguar, and rightly so, for the criminal way he accumulated the wealth that he generously shared with needy neighbors. But Jaguar’s funeral in turn must be an indictment on people who acquire wealth the legal and moral way but never bother to share any of it with those in need.

Come to think of it, when did we last see a politician, a businessman, a bishop buried with thousands of people in attendance? In other words, when did we last see the burial of a truly generous person from among those who are in a position to be generous?

Make no mistake about it, getting rich through drug-pushing is terribly wrong primarily because it destroys the lives of many people including whole families. I am only saying that people in need appreciate generosity even from criminals, especially if they do not get it from those who, by their vocation, are supposed to be exemplars of generosity.

My experience attending, and in a previous life, officiating, funerals bears this out. A lot more people appreciate generosity and mourn their generous dead.

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