It seems as though this time of year, my snail mailbox and e-mail box are overflowing with "please send us some of your cash for our cause". Those jolly folks in santa hats ringing the bells by the red buckets get on my nerves as it is some days. They hit you at every store entrance. That's enough for me. That being said, I don't need to be asked for cash when I'm in the privacy of my own home. But something happens when you decide to send a bit of cash to one well-known charity. The rest of the bigger charities receive word somehow that "this person gives money" and therefore, sends you their marketing literature with sad looking faces.
Not that I'm cold-hearted. Far from it. Their literature works in that I cannot look at it without feeling my heart cry out at the unnecessary and needless suffering of so many living creatures, both of the human and non-human kind. You know those Christian Children's Fund commercials? I don't think I've made it through one without weeping. I once sponsored a child for a couple of years. I then got side-tracked with the human society and save the whales folks.
Apparently what I need to do is find a cause I believe in the most and support that one and that one only.
I've never really been all that disciplined and therefore successful, though, at making up my mind.
However, all of this makes me realize how lucky I am. Or maybe luck has nothing to do with it. Perhaps grateful is a better word. My life could be so much worse. Abused animals in need of homes. Hungry children in need of food. Homeless parents wondering where they and their children will sleep tonight. People with AIDS in need of medication. Polar Bears in desperate need of protection. On and on and on. Today I was struck by this as I went to fill a prescription. Having had a root canal, I was not in the best of moods. I passed right by the bell ringer without making any eye contact. However, on the way out, I couldn't ignore for the second time her enthusiastic holiday greeting. So as I reached into my purse for some change, I glanced up at her and smiled. She smiled back, showing a row of teeth in need of repair, a couple of them missing.
If that isn't an example of someone in need of charity, I don't know what is. It seemed ironic to me that here this big company, The Salvation Army, has hired someone to seek funding for them and who, herself, is in obvious need of some sort of help.
As I sit here thinking about this, I wish I had written her a personal check. Even though my dental expenses are coming out of my (our) pocket, I'm just very thankful that right now, we have the ability to pay for it. If this had happened just 6 months ago, we wouldn't had the money.
Been there, done that. And I know that "that" is the way it is for billions, right now, this very day, this very moment. Maybe a new trend is needed. Spending for the holidays will come to a temporary end while those billions are instead spent on those in need, doing so until everyone and everything is safe and protected.