Giving & Giving Up: One INTJ’s Perspective

INTJ’s are often described as cynics in Myers Briggs write-ups. If the article is being fair, this innate cynicism is framed around an INTJ knowing how things should be–aka, not like the current state of affairs. As an INTJ, I observe this trait within myself. I’m often skeptical of nonprofits, charities and other agencies with grand, doe eyed missions. I once heard someone share about an agency that planned to eradicate poverty entirely through money–and fairly quickly. I scoffed. Whenever was poverty just about money–particularly generational poverty? If the problem was that simple, wouldn’t it have been solved ages ago? That’s like saying cancer is just about radiation—so much more goes into combating such a crippling disease.

It’s easy to be cynical, spouting off “so what’s” while avoiding the irritating $1 donations at drug store checkouts. Billions were donated to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The country–1/5th the size of Florida–is somehow still poor, many of its people still living (and dying) in squalor. Being cynical doesn’t begin to describe my frustration. Money surely didn’t solve the problem.

Today, I gave blood for what is close to the tenth time. In the back of my mind, I wondered: will the blood go to someone involved in an avoidable, pop-up gang shooting or will the blood go to something more innocent, like a cancer patient badly needing a transfusion? Such thoughts may not be very genteel, but there they are the same. I would hope doctors wouldn’t need to play God and that everyone could be saved. But I wonder. And I wonder.

I am a cynical giver. I have an idea how the world should be–partly because I follow the rabbi in dusty sandals and believe his words. And that is also why I give. People shouldn’t have to raise money to have a life saving surgery and I shouldn’t have to give blood to save someone from a stupid, drive by shooting. Neither circumstance should be occurring. Doesn’t the inner voice tell us this, the tickle at the back of our mind that, hey, something is indeed wrong here, that something is an injustice?

Thus I give up (at least intermittently) at trying to understand what good my giving does. I choose to give anyway–but with what thought, purpose and deliberateness I can achieve. I yell at the evil in our world and do what I can to stop it from winning. It seems to win too much.

And then I wait patiently, like all the other followers before me.

Song: “They Don’t Really Care About Us,” Michael Jackson (DJ Big Itch Remix)


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