Tuesday, March 8, 2016
My family was quite poor. As I was growing up I know my parents did not find it easy to make ends meet. Daddy always worked but his jobs did not pay much. Mom made most of our clothes and was a good cook.
So we scraped by a lot. But we never went hungry. Our meals may not have been our favorite foods all the time or fancy but they were filling.
The thing I am most grateful for is that we were loved and knew it. We never felt like we were burdens or nuisances.
I feel I am a generous person. My family can count on me to help in any way I can whenever they need me. And I like making other people feel better.
That being said I have a few things to say about "giving".
There are so many ads on television about poor children in other countries who do not have a regular source of food. Many of them starve to death. My heart breaks for them. I see mistreated animals with big soulful eyes who have been mistreated and abandoned. I can almost feel their pain and confusion.
All of these ads plead for me to send money so they can help. If they are reputable organizations I applaud those who send donations.
After all I live in what is considered to be the wealthiest country in the world. Most of us wish that no one would have to suffer. No one should have to be hungry or cold or not have someone to give them a big hug just because.
I have worked hard all my life. My children and their children work hard. None of us are rich.
If I have something extra to give it goes to my family first. Extended family comes next. My neighborhood follows, then my city, state, country. After that I can think about other countries.
Many pious religious people tell me that it is my obligation to try to help others. I believe that too. But the Bible tells us that charity begins at home.
If my home is not healthy and prosperous I have no business taking from my family to give to non-family.
When I lived in Detroit I saw many homeless people. They are on the streets begging for money for food. Many have substance abuse problems. I have taken these people into a diner and bought them a meal. That is not a lot. It only means that they have one meal that one day.
But I will not give them money. I will not support a drug or alcohol problem. But I really dislike seeing someone be hungry.
The animals I see on television who have been abused need someone to take care of them and care about them. I cannot take all of them in.
Whenever I do get a pet I take an animal that is not wanted by someone else. Some have been physically harmed. Many needed extra care. Some needed extra time to learn to trust. All were good pets.
Starving children around the world touch my heart. It is painful to see them and know that they do not have the proper care. I am happy to know that people help them.
We have children in this country in the same sad situations. They do not have adequate food, clothing, and shelter. Schooling is hit and miss for these children.
We have children whose parents do not take proper care of their children. It may be through small fault of theirs but the children are suffering nonetheless.
As bad as I feel about the suffering children from other countries I want the children in my country taken care of first. Take care of home then we can move on to others.
I do not denigrate those who do give to others. Far from it. My own cousin is active in digging wells and teaching water management to areas in Africa. I am proud of him. He is making a difference in the world.
These are strictly my views about giving. I think we should all help when and where we can.