Doing the Best That We Can

Ever wonder what your life would be like if you were lucky enough to win an astounding amount of money? Seriously, more money than you could possibly spend in a lifetime? How would your world view change? Would you buy several houses, new cars, pay for your children’s college, go nuts at Tiffany’s, etc.?

The Crankee Yankee and I often talk about this. We talk about how great it would be if our wonderful veterinarian could call on us should someone need expensive and life-saving surgery for their pet. Wouldn’t it just mean the world to that person if he or she was told “please don’t worry about it; it’s covered.” This would be done anonymously of course; the real fun would be helping a person who loves their pet dearly.

Of course, odds are slim that we would ever have a windfall like that. However, it’s still a pure pleasure to share what we can. Most of us have, at one time or other, scrimped and saved to make ends meet. Like everyone else, we have had our penny-pinching days and our “bonanza” days. Part of the fun of those bonanza days is being able to help out a friend or relative. It is a gift both for giver and receiver, and it tickles us to no end when we can help.

The great gift of scrimping and saving never quite leaves us. To this day we can’t toss out perfectly good leftovers; we eat them for lunch (or breakfast). We can’t help ourselves when we find a penny on the ground; we pick it up. We are also very casual about mold on cheese; if there is a spot or two of mold on a block of cheese, we simply scrape it off and help ourselves to the un-moldy parts. Throwing out a perfectly good hunk of cheese, even with a spot or two of mold just goes against our grain.

Now here’s a touchy subject: the folks who hold up signs declaring a lost job, hungry children, no home, and so on. I know we hear that it’s not a good thing to give them money; it could be a scam, it could be that they are only preying on our sympathy and so on.

Well, here’s the thing: I have to wonder how low you can fall to stand there in any kind of weather, holding up a handmade sign saying that you are homeless, jobless, and hungry. It always hurts my heart. Here is how I deal with it: when I feel my heart reach out, I stop and talk with the person, and I give them what money I can spare. If they are preying on my sympathy, that’s on them, not me. I would much rather lose a few bucks than miss out on helping someone who really needs help.

I am lucky that I have money to give. I am lucky to have a roof over my head. I am lucky to have friends and family who love me. I am lucky to live in this free country, and I am very, very lucky to be able to give when I can. Quite frankly, I don’t give the fuzzy crack of a rat’s rear end about what people make of this. In short, I am doing the best I can. That’s all that any of us can do.



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