I didn’t pay the phone bill on time, got zinged for $25 and the service is suspended. Paid what we needed to get hooked up again, but phones are out for 4 hours or so. But that’s now why I am writing.
If I did not have the security net I do, that extra $25 could have meant I did not eat or I couldn’t get gas.
I try not to talk too much about specific acts of charity because I do believe that charity done for personal satisfaction or accolades centers the act of giving rather than the conditions that require people to need charity in the first place. We shouldn’t encourage more charitable organizations, we should encourage eradicating the structures that necessitate them.
With that said, yesterday there was a woman in our local grocery story. She had two kids who were adorable, but she was stranded in YS and needed to find out about bus service. I could tell that they were exhausted, the kids were troopers but I sensed worry in them, and the mother explained why she needed help. I listened and empathized with her, and I identified the help I could give. When I handed her the money, she teared up and said, “This means we get to eat tonight!” We hugged, I gave her my card, and I moved on.
The amount I gave was significant for us both. Mimi and I make enough to live and have tiny cushions, but we both agree that I can make decisions about dipping into our own money. I gave what I knew we could afford, but it also means a few other things will wait until our next paychecks.
I did not give to feel charitable. I gave because I allowed myself to hear her and feel their energy, and to know that it is simply happenstance that I am not more vulnerable or battered about by the system and peoples’ ignorant judgments than I already am.
The fee from the phone company is my “fault.” It’s a case of hating the game more than the player because I hate this GD game. We have a powerful minority in this country who give not one shit about anyone but themselves. Some genuinely care about their families, but not for anyone outside their rigid community. The slavish devotion to capitalism has produced defenders who, ironically, are among the most abused by it.
The young mother seemed genuinely shocked that someone would stop and help her. I’m glad she was stranded in YS and that God led me to her; we hugged the hug of appreciation and gratitude, and that was worth every single cent.