The fact is, however, that the world is, and always has been, a very hard place.
We in this country are blessed because conditions for us are better than the are they are in many places around the world.
The reason for that is simple, although no one ever seems to want to say it out loud.
We have it better because we worked hard to make it a better place. Our forefathers worked hard to make it a better place. We have been willing to die in the thousands to keep it a better place.
That’s not some big secret and it’s not some fantastic medical formula or medicine. It’s not some scientific breakthrough or super weapon.
There really is a thing called "American Exceptionalism" and at it's roots you will find hard work, faith, willing hands, determination, a strong sense of right and wrong, and a refusal to quit or accept injustice.
Now, having said all that, why is it that every time I turn on the TV, I have to see a picture of a seal pup staring up at me from an iceberg, or a cat shivering in a cage, or a dog chained in some junk yard, or a baby with big round eyes and a swollen stomach standing ankle deep in filth.
And all of them promising that it will get better if I could just afford $19.99 a month.
It used to be that these programs tugged at our heart strings during the holidays. Now it’s all day long, every day. And if they can’t guilt trip you on the TV, they’ll send you a free gift and printed address labels in the mail –you can use one on the envelope when you send them your donation (they also accept Visa, MasterCard) and you can save the time and postage by making a donation right on their web site, thank you.
I’ll tell you something. It’s not working. What is happening is that they are making us cynical and callused. We can’t afford to help everyone that asks for help in the name of a good cause, so we stop helping anybody –and we start resenting them all for making us feel bad because we can’t send them all money.
I don’t know about you, but I have a simple rule: Family First.
If I have some extra money, or time, to give, I want it to go help feed the homeless kids in my country first. I want to help our Veterans first. I want to save abused animals in America first. Not one dime goes overseas until the hunger and homeless and other problems are defeated here first. Is that bad? I don’t think so. And it’s far more likely that I’ll find out if it’s a swindle than if I’m sending quarters to a village in Tukamon, Uganda. Because, let's face it, a lot of these so called charities donate a lot more to the salaried of their employees than they do to the people they say they are helping.
Okay, I’ve blown my steam, I’ll shut up for a while –but I have some advice for the people trying to get us to donate to some good cause.
Just show us your good work and let us decide what to do.
And how about falling back on our entrepreneur spirit. Why not make handkerchiefs or scarfs, or post cards, or socks or dolls? Sell stuff that your clients are willing to make in exchange for a little help.
How about a food kitchen that asks a homeless person to clean a few feet of sidewalk before sitting down to dinner?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I see people trying to help themselves by doing something other than sticking their hand out, palm up…. I’m a lot more likely to want to help.
Here endith the tirade….
Live Long and Prosper...