Posted by: gisspar | October 11, 2009

True story

So yesterday we got our first bit of snow for the year (third earliest accumulation in 60yrs. yippee) at about 2 inches. By the time I got around to looking, there was maybe an inch of snow underneath about an inch of ash leaves. Couldn’t see the deck, the patio, the garden or the driveway for all of the leaves. Over 300 gallons after about three hours of raking. But that’s not really the point here (although, yes, I would really like a cookie).

No the point is related to something that happened while raking. This group of girls with little white buckets were trolling the neighborhood asking for donations. Their first time through, I was in the backyard and I didn’t get the pleasure of shutting the door in their faces. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find a group of heavily made-up blondes from a baptist church that charitable. The next time through, I was in the front, still raking. They did not stop to ask for a donation. And I’m standing there thinking “What is this, discriminatory solicitation?” Like it’s only okay to try to guilt people out of money (presumably to help others that probably don’t look like you) from people that look like you? That does not speak well for any sense of community or equality or acceptance. Nor does it give me any confidence at all in whatever charitable act they were trying to perform—if you are that biased to start, then how can you truly provide anything to someone in a way that maintains their dignity? “Give a man a fish; teach a man to fish” is something that sometimes gets lost. It takes more effort and someone has to show up; you can’t just drop a can in a bag to get that boost of self-worth for being charitable.

To be fair, I didn’t expect much from these girls. I still have trouble reconciling this overwhelming desire to chase the latest trends in style and entertainment with any great understanding of the other (i.e. those that are different from you and yet are not inherently evil just because of it). My kindergarten and my mom always used to tell us that “everybody’s different; everybody’s fine” and, since I tend to take things fairly literally sometimes, I still believe that and try to live with that in mind. Although if you are stupid and mean, you are not fine but that’s more of a character flaw as opposed to some culturally defined race thing.

Anyway, most of the leaves are raked so at least something good came of the afternoon.



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