Community and Charity
This is a discussion on Community and Charity within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; 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 ...
February 26th, 2009 06:41 AM
Community and Charity
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.
February 26th, 2009 10:28 AM
I see things here I don't like either, but that is just life.
The lack of politics is what keeps me here, as opposed to other forums.
"I pledge allegiance to the war banner of the united states of Totalitaria. And to the Republic, which no longer stands, several bankers, who are now god, indivisible, with Bernanke bucks and credit for all."
February 26th, 2009 10:40 AM
Nice post, Jan. I've read your comments with interest, and have always felt a vibrant active community allows and encourages broad cross-sections of thought. Balance. Having said that, yes, it all takes balance, and DC is still civil, tightly run, and a great place to learn and read without name-calling or some of the less civil behavior seen elsewhere.
And yes, there are some "forbidden topics" I'd rather be able to discuss, but those must stay elsewhere.
So, your post is a nice reminder of where we are, might be and how some choose to move through life.
"He went on two legs, wore clothes and was a human being, but nevertheless he was in reality a wolf of the Steppes. He had learned a good deal . . . and was a fairly clever fellow. What he had not learned, however, was this: to find contentment in himself and his own life. The cause of this apparently was that at the bottom of his heart he knew all the time (or thought he knew) that he was in reality not a man, but a wolf of the Steppes."
February 26th, 2009 11:14 AM
I, like you, and many of us, have helped and still do.
I am, however, very cautious. I am pretty sure that any "street person" probably has a blade on them. I also know that many are dealing with mental health issues and may not be all that stable.
I also know that some are simply scamming us. We figured out one day that the local "Vietnam Vet Will Work for Food God Bless You" guy on a nearby street corner, with little effort and a borrowed pair of crutches, could easily make $20 bucks an hour, and it could be well over $50 an hour.
I choose to do MOST of my giving through organizations that are attempting to make a difference in what is, I believe, a more systemic and sustainable way of helping. We try to help people out of those situations they are mired in.
There are some good ones.
Anyway, above all, I appreciate your heart for those who are hurting. We certainly need people who care, but do so intelligently. "Shrewd as a serpent, innocent as a dove" works well for me and my house.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
February 26th, 2009 11:41 AM
I just add a simple "amen" to this topic.
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
February 26th, 2009 01:04 PM
Thank you for your insight and I appreciate your comments you have made on my particular posts.
Woman With A Gun
Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession. - George Washington
February 26th, 2009 02:41 PM
Really great post. No matter how hard you work as an individual to get ahead, to do the best, bad things beyond your control can knock you down. No one is immune. You can wake up one day and have cancer; you can wake up one day and find a con-artist stole your identity and your money; the company you work for can be sold to others who only are interested in selling off pieces till there is nothing left. You can work like a dog building a small business and a new competitor with big money backing moves in across the street and undercuts your prices to force you out.
I could go on and on and on. But all of us who somehow have incomes and some accumulated wealth, however small to carry for a rainy day, need to consider our individual good luck, and try to return it someway to others.
Again great post by Klatuu
February 26th, 2009 11:25 PM
Good post. One of the things that bother me about a lot of folk that I meet is their apparent lack of charity, the appearance of self-centeredness and/or a general mean streak.
However, IMHO, I'd sooner work through my Church's food pantry and volunteer at the local soup kitchen. I tend to favor grassroots action, but am weary and very cautious of one-to-one gifts to "street people."
As always YMMV and keep up the good works as your "light" may direct.
I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.
I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro
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