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I’m sure by now most of you have seen that I’m running a fundraiser to make sure Eric and I have enough money to move at the end of the year. No donations have been given yet, even though it’s been broadcast to over 4000 people. For just a moment I felt upset that no one has given, because we need the money. Then my mind shifted. It’s not about me, but it does say something about all those people out there, and it’s not saying anything good.
There was a time when I would have assumed that people hated me, or thought me unworthy of their precious money, but as I said, this isn’t about me. What it is is a sign of society as a whole. People have become more and more selfish. If there’s no direct benefit to themselves, they don’t help others. Even if they can help for free, they often won’t. It’s a sad state that the world is in when we won’t help each other.
It’s not even that people can’t afford to help. They can, they just tell themselves they can’t. They can afford that fancy $6 a cup coffee, or a new iPod, or fast food, but they claim they can’t afford to help others. They’ll spend money on things they don’t really need or shop wastefully, but they won’t offer a few dollars to someone in need. Society is training us to be hoarders of things and of money. We’re taught to feel this sense of constant lack that makes us miserly and insensitive to the needs of others.
I have so little money that the fundraiser is pretty much a necessity if I hope to be safe when moving time comes. However, in this very moment, I have enough for my needs. With that in mind I took $10 and donated it. I gave $5 to a woman who wants to write her second novel but can’t because her poor health and the inability to pay medical bills prevents it. I gave another $5 to a local family whose home burned down recently and they lost everything. Will $5 make a radical difference in their lives? Of course not, but if everyone who passed by those pages donated $5, those people would have their needs met in no time.
I think people need to wake up and stop clinging to their money like another cent will never pass through their fingers. Think about how you spend your money and if you’re honest, you’ll probably find lots of places where you could cut back, even just for one day, and have enough to give to someone in need. The cost of one cup of coffee could keep someone from going hungry for a day. The cost of getting your nails done could keep someone’s heat on for another week. The cost of an iPod could feed a shelter animal for months. You can afford to help others, you just have to let go of the lack mentality that causes you to cling to everything you have.
I personally can’t wait for the day when I’m financially stable enough to give to others on a regular basis. Most people don’t even think like that these days, but I do. Once my own needs are met I want to give and help other people. I help people with my writing and by doing what I can for free, but I’ll be overjoyed when the time comes that I can freely give to others in a monetary way as well. I wish more people held my desire to give and share and try to make everyone safe, cared for and happy. They say 2014 will be the year that society shifts for the better, I can only hope that’s true.
The good news is you have most of the year to reach your goal. But I know what you mean – generosity is certainly down in recent years. But I’ve certainly given to people who needed it badly enough recently when I really couldn’t afford it myself. I feel it’s good karma to help those less fortunate than ourselves. I could only spare $5 for now, but I hope to give more soon when my situation stabilizes a bit.
I certainly appreciate your donation.
It’s weird (and sad) that people don’t give. No one in this house is well off, but we do things anyway. Maybe not money, but whatever we can. Hungry? We’ll give some food if we’ve got it. Need a ride? No problem. No vacuum? Here, borrow ours. Got something that needs attention? Sure, I’ll share the link. We just do it because it’s right. The karma’s great, but it’s really more about just being a good person. If you never help others, who’s ever going to help you? And if you never need help, well, you’ve at least done something to make another person’s life better.