Lots and lots of news coverage regarding charity donations at this time of year. I believe that is a wonderful thing. Sharing is how we acknowledge that everything we have is not only a gift, a blessing and result of some effort on our part but also a benefit of living in a society of fellow human beings. It is an admirable virtue to give and share. However, there is another side to the meaning of giving, the receiving side.
In this country there are millions of people in need of various necessities and helping them is not only a virtue but most would agree, an obligation to our fellow man. Necessities actually consist of three things, food, clothing and shelter. That's what I've believed and been told all my life. Access to health care, in my opinion should be included in that too. But what happens when we give too much?
Growing up in a working class family certainly had it's challenges. "You don't get something for nothing" was one of the life lesson's my folks taught. My siblings and I participated in providing for our necessities through some type of work of entrepreneurial venture to help pay for some pleasantries or extras that we may want. My dad always worked two jobs to make up for the low pay and my mom filled in with babysitting. I grew up in a family unit that only asked for help in emergencies when all our efforts had failed and our resources were exhausted. Hard work, sacrifice, determination, persistence and faith in a better life pulled us through. The help we received helped us up, it didn't take the place of our dignity and learning experiences.
Charity is a virtue, I sincerely believe in sharing what I have and giving to a good cause in a variety of ways. However, I sincerely wonder if those charities aren't providing so much as to remove many otherwise capable people from gaining the skills necessary for providing for themselves.
Life skills include: Speaking well and communication of thoughts, Proper clothing and appearance, need, desire, work ethic and common sense. Watching some folks who have no respect for others and the hard work it took to get where they are and just keep demanding more and more, I wonder if sometimes we, in our noble charitable efforts are creating a segment of society that os so totally dependent on others that they and their decedents will never learn to be productive members but simply slaves to make benevolent, hard working folks feel better because they gave. The only skills they have are based upon how to work the system and blaming others for their plight. In truth, taking much needed resources fro those that actually need a helping hand. It won't stop my giving where I see a need though.