As a home heath nurse for many years, before I went into hospice care, I visited the homes of people all over So. Calif. I saw patients in almost every socioeconomic situation, and people of every race and creed. I have so many memories of those times, but will (at least try) to concentrate on some related to charity.
We hear a lot about the “poor,” and even are told that some “children” (more about that later) don’t have enough to eat and need charity to provide toys and games because they don’t have any. Therefore, every church and community I know of tries to collect food and toys to give to these poor folks, especially during holidays. They sincerely think that this is “charity” and that they are doing good deeds.
But what is the truth? I offer for your consideration a tiny bit of what I saw in the homes of so many of these “poor” people.
Disclaimer! Remember that all of these people have a perfect right to live however they please, eating whatever they want, and ignoring the teaching of anyone they don’t want to bother with. But that right does not include demanding (and getting) someone else to take responsibility, or pay the price.
I saw seriously obese adults and children, eating mountains of fast food and every kind of “convenience” food with little or no nutritional value. I actually watched a young mother of two in a grocery store. She had a full cart. I watched in amazement as the checker took each item out and scanned it. There was not one shred of fresh, whole or nutritious food that I could see. Lots of soda pop, white bread, deli meats and potato chips, sugar sweet dry cereal and donuts. And then the woman was furious when the clerk told her none of those things could be purchased with the food stamps!!
I watched as tots of two and three hauled around a 2 liter bottle of cola or other soft drink, refusing to eat or drink almost everything else. They smiled sometimes, revealing blackened, rotting baby teeth.
Most of the young women had little or no idea how to cook, shop for value, or store anything. They had serious health problems as a result, of course. But they usually didn’t have any interest in learning how to change that.
Imagine trying to teach a family the requirements to manage diabetes, often more than one family member, when they had no skills to cope with it… and no desire to learn! They wanted the doctor, the nurse, SOMEONE to give them a magic pill or device that would relieve them of the responsibility for their condition, and FIX IT without any effort on their part. They took more insulin than ordered, for example, because they figured that it would negate the donuts and soda pop they consumed regularly. Until their toes were amputated, and they went blind. But then they were adamant that it was all the fault of the medical people.
But I digress…
“But, but, think of the hungry children!” And how many of these “children” live in homes with all the modern conveniences, large screen TV, electronic gadgets of every kind, cars even and boats and an ATV… with the adults happily drinking, smoking and so forth while their children are tagged at “school” as obese and unmanageable.
Yeah, those children. And it is nothing new. I saw lots of malnourished and sickly children and adults over my 30 year career, but I don’t remember ever seeing any who were actually hungry – with no option to obtain healthy food. They simply had other priorities, and more stolen goods from productive people can’t change that.
And the poor children who supposedly “need” more toys? I remember the complete clutter in so many homes with children. Broken toys littering the floors, especially the (often individual) bedrooms. One day I watched while two teens gathered broken and discarded toys, books, puzzles and clothing into large plastic bags. To be thrown away because the fire department was bringing them all new stuff from “Toys for Tots.”
A great deal has been written about the destructiveness of government welfare, with entire generations having no reason at all to be responsible for themselves or to respect the lives and property of others. If the government steals, that must mean it’s ok to steal? Remember the mother of a teen killed in the middle of a robbery? She said something like, “…how else can he get money for books and things?” Do you think there are a lot of others with that twisted perspective? I do. And they are not all living in the ghettos of Chicago either.
A generous and loving person willingly gives of himself, in whatever way seems good to him/her. Always has been so, when it is voluntary of course. True charity is to teach a man to fish… etc. To build his self worth and increase his independence. But that man must be willing to learn. And he must be content to eat the fish he will catch as his reward.
What we must cope with these days are the herds of people who have been taught all their lives that they are entitled to what others produce, and those who use the theft of that wealth to control and keep the herd worshiping them. And far, far too many people who don’t understand any of that, or think they can – and are entitled to – use the situation to participate in the control of others, and the theft. Too many people use a twisted idea of “charity” as a means to control others – or make themselves feel good in spite of the damage it causes to the recipients.
The desire/compulsion to control the lives and property of others is the ROOT of all evil. Control is at the root of all aggression. I can’t say that often enough.