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Friday, December 13, 2013

Real charity

My grandmothers went to college, both of them.  I am no spring chicken, that was a long time ago and it was unusual for women to attend college.  But, they both did.

My paternal grandmother was a teacher and a principal in the rural area where I grew up.  She worked hard every day of her life.  A neighbor was on welfare and never worked.  In fact, the family has 3 generations of welfare recipients.

It is a way of life, a class structure, if you will.  Some work, some collect government money and don't work.  There is absolutely no difference between the neighbors at all, only a choice.

My grandparents had a beautiful home and really nice cars.  One day, as my grandmother was driving home from work, her neighbor needed a ride.  He was coming home from the liquor store.  As they were heading toward home, the neighbor started to complain that the government didn't give him enough money.  Then he started to look around the car and decided that her car was pretty nice and he should have one just like it.

She dropped him off at the side of the road.

In my work, I have a lot of stuff.  I sell the most, so I have a lot of profit, product, supplies, etc.  I earned it, it is mine.  I am happy to share it with those who have less.  In fact, I go out if my way to give to those who have less.  It is never enough, no one ever appreciates it.  For some reason, people think that since I have more, I OWE them some of my stuff.  Why is that?

Today, in 4th grade lit we read a story called, "The Gold Coin," by Alma Flor Ada.  In it, a thief sees a woman with a gold coin.  He automatically thinks that she is rich and decides to steal her coin.  The story describes him as sickly, pale and frowny because he always steals, hides and doesn't have any friends.  (Kinda like Gollum.)  But, in the story, he starts to work and becomes tanned and strong.  In the end, he even smiles.

Why am I going on and on like this?  Because everywhere you look, there are examples of the socialist idea system.  And, whether it was 50 years ago, today, or in a work of fiction, the moral is the same:

Work hard, earn what you have, you will be happier.  You may even be able to help other people.

I had coffee with a dear friend this week.  When she sees someone in need, she brings the person into her home.  The first thing - RULES!  If you want her help you have to follow her rules.

Now, let's compare and contrast that to the government system, shall we?

She provides shelter, food and a system of structure and rules.  The goal is to help the person help him or herself.  Eventually, the person learns to stand on his or her own two feet.  This gracious act of charity doesn't give a hand out, but a hand up.  While meeting the basic needs of a person, the person is being taught how to take care of him or herself.  The goal is a productive member of society.

The government gives a handout, unlimited, no strings attached, no requirements.  They just give stuff away and don't ask for any sort of accountability in return.  This enabling creates a class of welfare recipients.

Why can't the government system look a little bit more like the private system?  Can't the welfare recipient have some standards for receiving benefits?  Can't we work with people to help them learn to stand on their own two feet?  Can't there be a system of rewards and punishments, kinda like the rest of the world?

No, of course not.  Once a person starts to work hard, earn their own money and get their own stuff, they vote Republican.