Friday, October 25, 2013

Compassion is from the heart...

Have you ever had a week that was so busy and full that it flew by?  This is sort of one of those weeks.  I cannot believe it is Friday.  My "plate" has been overwhelmingly full, and strangely most of it has already gotten done. 

I am thankful that tomorrow is almost here, I have things planned,  but it is simply stuff that fills my soul with peace and calms me.  You know, a quilt to quilt, soap to make, maybe some curtains to sew and hats to crochet.  I am almost done with my special orders after all. Three and a half left to go just in time for some seriously chilly weather.

This week has been a week that has been wrought with strong emotions, dealing with difficult situations (which evidently aren't finished yet - yep that 5:12 am call to the Lifeguard supervisor was not fun....), amazingly joyful times and incredibly shocking ones.  It has been a complete emotional roller coaster. 

I feel drawn to offer stronger support to all those that surround me.  So many have hearts that are hurting and needs that aren't being met.

We attended our associations 160th birthday party this week.  I am part of the group that arranged for it, so my attendance was mandatory.  I had mixed feelings about it.  I am pretty honest with anyone about my feelings towards the entitled mentality.  And I had not quite understood what our partner organization for the event was doing.  I am so excited now to offer my full support to Operation Food Search!

In fact, I am going to be putting a lot more into their bin that sits in my lobby before Thanksgiving.

I understand that there are many people out there that need help, that life is beating them up and there does not seem to be anyone that is throwing them a lifeline.  Sadly those are not the ones that are benefiting from all the government assistance and aid.  For whatever reason, they simply cannot get the help they desperately need. I have seen first hand the folks that make just $10 a month too much and are not able to get any additional resources.  Or they own property and therefore don't qualify.  Or maybe it is simply their pride, that they still hold on to that feeling of shame for needing help.  Whatever the reason there are many that are suffering.

Equally sadly, there are many that make an absolute career out of working the system.  They don't get up and search for a job, they keep having children so they don't lose their benefits, they sell their "food stamps" - some getting so bold as to sell them on Craig's List.  These are the ones that refuse to be part of any solution and sit there with their hands out, they have learned to work the systems and they are proud of it. 

I am a firm believer that a community helps their community.  I believe that the government assistance is what has led to the decline of neighborhoods and friends lending a helping hand.  And I will not support any programs that take government assistance to "change" lives.  So I wasn't a huge fan of Operation Food Search, I was under the mistaken assumption that they were simply another one of "those" organizations.

To my delight, I learned of all the good they do, all they belly's they fill, all the meals, snacks and nutritious food they provide.   I was so filled with joy and a desire to help when I heard their Chairman speak.  They do everything through private donations, they keep food pantries full, provide thousands of "back pack" meals to kids and their families over weekends that simply might not have anything.  It was so inspiring.

I don't believe anyone should do without, but I firmly believe that everyone should be doing their very best and working their very hardest to have what they need. It's a difficult task for me to align my personal feelings sometimes with what I am surrounded with on a daily basis. 

I am thinking that folks that don't know me assume I want people to suffer, or that I don't have empathy,  and that I won't reach out a helping hand. 

They would be very wrong on that.  I will do anything in this world for those that are doing for themselves.  I probably won't part with my beloved winter coat (hubby had it custom made for me and I love it), but I will get you one of your own.  I will give a hat to someone that needs it, gloves too.  Although before I will, you must be doing something for yourself.

Hubby and I even practically gave a truck to one of his employees a long time ago, we sold it for next to nothing and took payments for a long time to help this kid out... sadly... he used it to steal from the very company that employed him... but that is another story.

Don't give me a sob story and tell me I owe you anything.  Because I don't.  We all have the same rights, each of us are allowed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  But nowhere at all does it say I have to give what I work hard for to you if I don't want to.  That is what makes the giving sweet.  That people want to give and that the gift be received with graciousness and gratitude.  Not because it is owed.

As the week wraps up, and I am planning all of the things that I will do this weekend to help my own family's budget line.  I am also planning how I am going to support a worthwhile organization.  A group that aligns with my beliefs.  Oh I know there are people that take advantage, there always are.  Yet, they are willing to help out of compassion, concern and caring... well those are things I can wrap my arms and heart around.

I seem to be doing a lot of ranting and raving lately... This is more of a shout out to a great group of folks.  People that understand they might be having to help those that feel entitled, but are still doing it because of that child with a parent or parents that aren't able (whether on purpose or not). Because of the seniors or the family that has fallen on hard times.  Or the veterans, simply any in need.

That small group of people with their joyous acceptance of our meager donation reminded me of the goodness and generosity of the American people, when we are allowed to give of our own free will and not have it demanded of us.

We the People are amazing!!  And we will always help our fellow man... So my question on this Friday, is how are you helping someone this weekend?