I looked around a lot before deciding to check in here as a member. It seemed like the right place for me. So I signed up and threw myself out there for the last week, trying to say, "here I am, this is me, hello community". I have met and shared with some very nice folk. And then there are some threads and attitudes here that give me pause. I may have made a mistake. A few posts today really challenged my senses and I feel compelled to say a few things about community and charity. I hope this is appropriate for Bob Ford's Place.
We have a warm home and food in the pantry but we are far from secure in this economy. Long story I am not going into but the facts are that we cannot afford to be very charitable these days. Yet we make an effort to do with less lately so that we may offer some small comfort to those who ask. I see more families, children in trouble every week. There is a large shelter organization near me with more need than they can provide so the problems have become more visible to me lately. This forum is about personal defense. Consider that the number of people who for all practical purposes are wearing an "easy victim here" sign are rapidly increasing.
No mistake, I go into high SA mode when someone asks and I like to think that I avoid being approached by the predators versus the mostly harmless. I keep a few bills in a shirt pocket. I think it is easier to pass a bill than change while being as alert and prepared as possible doing so. I also believe that most people who ask have a true need. A dollar is going to make a lot more impact on their life than mine. Sometimes my little voice says give them a five. But he is just going to buy a pint of MD2020 you say? So what. Count your blessings if you do not understand a need like that.
Do not imagine that you could never fall that far. I have known seemingly well adjusted, successful people that went from "normal" to homeless and barking at the moon bipolar in the span of a few months. They think a life on the street is better than being a doped up vegetable in mental incarceration. Some are not even allowed that choice. It is not for me to determine that they are bad people or dead beats. They are suffering. The average person cannot comprehend the crushing helplessness and need like the last bum they passed on the street lives with as routine. Whether they came to misfortune by their own choices or by random chance is irrelevant. Suffering is suffering. My religion demands that I neither turn away from it nor judge it, but to ease it as I may. Truth is, that is just how I am wired. A man has to do what a man has to do. Whatever you have to do to get through life, make it count for something.
Thanks for listening.