Monday, August 14, 2017

Put your frickin' money where your mouth is

Unlike most of my posts here, this one is highly personal, so hold your hats. If you don't like it, go in peace, but go. If you do like it, fine. If you want to debate me, fine. If you want to bash me, go find the skinhead group of your choice, collect your white hood, and wait for the racist rapture.
If you're coping with the disaster of Cheeto by hoping and praying, you may be making yourself feel good, but you're doing squat for anyone else. 
Stressed to the max? Who isn't? Already tucking some "giving" into your day--saying hello to the local crazy lady or giving a quarter to a panhandler--so that makes it OK? Nah, you're just paying lip service to changing things. If you are one of those who goes to church and gives a dollar because you're 'broke,' try again. You can find another one to send to or some other worthy cause for change, unless you're living on the street, in which case you get a pass, in which case you are not reading this anyway.

A friend put up on FB today photos of quilts--tons of them--his church made for refugees. Lots of busy people donated lots of time to put in those tiny stitches. Bless them. And I suspect they also tossed some money into the basket as well. I'm not big on organized religion, but when it does actual things as well as praying about it, yes, that is what Jesus would do, as I understand it. Loaves and fishes, turning water to wine, bringing people back from the dead and hugging lepers.

As for me, I've got both Cheeto and Brexit to worry about, with my retirement coming from one nation and my marriage in the other. So don't piss me off by chronicling how tough it is for you. It's tough for us all. And the older you get, the tougher it is...unless you are just starting out, in which case it is probably tougher even than for us old farts, whose physical energy is ebbing and whose brains and hearts have had all too many years of putting up with it, and we are fucking exhausted. But we go on. 
If you haven't got started on your job/life/career yet, it's probably plenty scary and stressful. And I'll help you if I can. I think most of us would. Unless we are racist Trumpanzees or Brexiteers.

Not a week goes by, despite my deep and abiding terror and disgust, that I don't send a bit of money to some organization or other trying to amend this right-wing juggernaut so that fewer are killed or harmed by it. Indeed, I usually find two or three things to donate to every week. Not much, usually only ten bucks at a time, and I'll be the first to say I'm not hurt by it. One could say I'm lucky, and I am. But I worked hard to make that luck. However, even when ten bucks was a huge amount for me--and there are lots of times in my life that it was--I still eked some coinage out for causes and other charity.

Nor am I saying "poor me" here. I can somehow handle it; I managed to get to 70 handling it, with a few respites, one of which was handed to me gratis by my brother and late sister-in-law who invited me in from the cold of freelancing for three months once, and helped me restart. We had a blast, as well, lots of laughter. It restored me; now that my sister-in-law has become pure spirit, I wish I could do the same for my brother. Although I think nothing really can.

So what am I saying? What I'm saying is stop already with thinking just being kind is going to change things. It won't hurt, that's for sure. But use some discernment. If you are being kind to skinheads, you are being unkind to the rest of society. No one says you have to hit them (although there are times....), but kindness consists in making sure others have, in so far as you are able to provide it, what they need. 
The nation--two nations, the US and the UK--need people who are going to refuse to walk the path the leaders have planned. It won't be enough to nod politely and drop a quarter in the panhandler's hat, although you should do that, too. But if you think it is enough, you are part of the problem. You need to work to get out the vote, by shoe-leather power or donations or both. You need to write letters. You need to refuse to smile sweetly when someone says they'll give Trump or the Brexiteers/Tories a chance, even if it's your mother. Trumpanzees and Brexiteers/Tories have had more than they deserve, but they are greedy, and will take all we give them and turn it against us. 


Now, I've got to go write something so I can make another few "ten bucks" for the cause and eke out the time to write another polemic to change some hearts and minds as well.

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