Sunday, January 22, 2017

Myths of the Oligarchs: Charity is Bad

I can only counter that with a subjective story of what I did yesterday. I gave all my cash away. I had a twenty stashed in my billfold for weeks. I broke it the other day at the copy store, paying for a few copies of forms I had to send in. I was out running yet more small errands - when you're poor, all your errands are small - when I began to meet homeless people. A lot of them. I gave each a dollar. I wish I made enough to give each a twenty, but that's not possible. These are mostly old people out begging on the streets. Old people begging in the USA. Also several vets, two with missing limbs. Disabled vets begging.

Long story short: I ended up with five dollars in cash at the end of the day. I stopped off at Dollar General to pick up a few canned goods. Some sweet little girls were in line in front of me, buying Elmer's Glue, construction paper, and snacks. School project, most likely. Their little minds hadn't quite grasped math yet, they were three dollars short. Their little faces were saddened and embarrassed. They asked if they could put some stuff back. I pulled out the five and gave it to the clerk. The little ones thanked me on the way out. The oldest one, the one in charge, came up to me, very solemn, and gave me their change. So I guess I have two dollars left. Their sweet, stunned little faces, surprised that a stranger would help them, it would have made me smile...but the left side of my face was aching as usual. The lymphedema acting up again. I couldn't smile, on the outside at least.

I'm happy that I did it. Overjoyed. Charity, good works, helping others, they bind the community together. The oligarchs will put you in jail for feeding the poor, helping strangers. For real. All over the USA, cities are passing ordinances banning charitable works. Why? To fragment us, to keep us fragmented. If people give to me, I am obligated to give to others. By my actions, in a very small way, I unite the community.

Go give. It feels so damned good. Give it all away and it will come back to you in unexpected and joyous ways.