I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day regarding charity. With it being political season and all, there’s been quite the smattering of memes being posted all over Facebook. I’ve gotten very good at simply scrolling on, but the ones that have really been frustrating me lately are the posts about how people who work, pay for those who ‘refuse’ to work. Ironically, they’re typically followed with some sort of religious post about how God is good.
Pick a lane, people.
Now, don’t get me wrong, God is pretty neat. From what I’ve learned in my life about God and Jesus is that, well, Jesus was a nice guy who gave to those who needed it and didn’t judge.
Yet, all I read about is people judging, then hiding behind their God and their religion. But! But! I’m a good person! I go to church every week! I can quote scriptures!
That’s really nice and all, but really, what makes someone good?
I like to believe that I am good. While I don’t follow any one religion, and I couldn’t tell you a thing about what happened in the book of Luke, I can say that I give to those who are in need. I actively search out people, who have less than I do, and do what it takes to give them what they need and deserve. Because while, yes, they may even be on welfare (gasp!) they are human beings, and regardless of how they live their lives, they deserve kindness.
I often wonder where we fell apart. Where the old adage of, “Walk a mile in their shoes,” went.
I have zero issues with religion. Everyone should have their bit of happiness and peace. I find my happiness and peace in a really good run or yoga. Some find it at the bakery. Some find it in church. That is awesome. As long as the end game is happiness and peace, why does it matter how we find it? I spent years thinking there must be something wrong with me to not want to follow a religion. I had a long, tear-filled conversation with my mom asking her if I was a disappointment. I’ve gone through all the feelings and levels of denial. But here I am, with a clear head, and a plan for me – my life – and I’m happy.
Ironically, what I’ve found is that there’s no rhyme or reason as to who gives. I’ve noticed, however, in the past three years of doing my Christmas thing, is that those who give, a lot of them are people who don’t have a lot of extra to give. But they do anyhow. Because it makes them feel good.
I’ll never forget. The first year I held my spinathon for the fundraiser, a woman, who did all six hours of the spinathon, and therefore donated over 60 dollars, told me about when she was a young mother, and her ex-husband kicked her and her son out, literally into the cold. When she finally had a place to live, and it was a very sketchy place, she cried every night, worrying about how she was going to supply Christmas for her son. When she awoke Christmas morning, there was a bike with a bow on it outside her front door. Seems her neighbors heard her cries. Someone did, anyhow, and she said she would never forget that random act of kindness.
Even now, she doesn’t have a lot to give, but every time I host a fundraiser, she’s there, always. With whatever she can give.
I want to be that.
I don’t want to be the fear mongering, hate driving person who complains about where their taxes go. I don’t want to be the person who sits there on their pedestal and judges others. I certainly don’t want to be a person who cares so much about someone else’s life and what they do with it, that I stop living mine.
I want to be that person who donates 5 dollars to a GoFundMe about a kid that needs emergency surgery. I want to be the person who sits with their friend as they await news about their sick dog. I want to be the person who understands that there’s so much more out there than anger and pettiness.
On Monday, November 16th I’ll be delivering the items to the families. If you would like to help our cause, we could really use more diaper donations and the exersaucer. The mother specifically asked for those items. The social worker told me that the mother of the newborn, prior to having the baby, cried to her about how she didn’t even think she could afford diapers. That’s so horribly sad.
Posting a meme only looks proactive. I choose to be the change.