At times when I have nothing to do, I like to take time to read other people’s blogs. More often than not, I find this to be a nice, pleasurable experience. Even if I don’t know who the authors of said blogs are, it’s nice to read what they have to say about anything and everything. This I try to do with an open mind because since I know first hand what is like to be treated unfairly and not given the benefit of the doubt by people who may not even know you, I wouldn’t want to treat someone the way I was treated. By the same token, even when I feel the need to give my two cents regarding someone else’s blog I justify my reasoning to myself, to the world, and most importantly to the author.
That said, I was reading someone’s blog today and I was appalled by what I read. What seemed to have been written as a well intentioned essay, with its accusations and snobbery (you know, the whole I-am-better-than-you-because-I-do-this syndrome) ended up being nothing more than a self-indulgent accusation.
Someone said that you are you and your circumstances (to be totally honest I have no idea of who it was). How can somebody who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what your circumstances are address the way you should lead your life? How can somebody say you are horrible person for doing something (or considering it anyway) if they don’t know how many other really positive things you may have done?
My mom always says that charity begins at home (though I’m pretty sure someone else said it first). I agree with that statement fully. Sure, it is important to worry about what’s going on in the world, and I do, and I truly care because no matter how crappy a place or how tough a place has it, it’s someone’s home; however, before I give Sally Struthers 85 cents a day so she can feed someone in Zimbabwe (sorry Fadzai!), I much rather spend $3 a day feeding the homeless guy who has spent the entire winter sleeping on the steps of the school in front of my building, or I rather continue to give money to Doctors Without Borders, who work in places where nobody will want to go. Instead of worrying about problems that may never go away, I rather give a hand in rebuilding, in real time help. I help who I can; but sad though it may be, you can’t save everybody.
Oh and if somewhere in the process I feel the desire to spend $600 on a suit, or a bag, or shoes, I don’t see what the big deal is. Hell, I think Angelina Jolie is a saint for the work she does and she owns gowns worth more than I’ll make in the next 6 months combined! This doesn’t make her a bad person…it’s good to want things and to work for them. I work hard for my money, and an investment like that for me (as much as I like to shop) is a very rare occurrence. If someone needs to be badmouthed, we should badmouth the Paris Hiltons of the world who really do have the ability to make a difference but don’t.
Let’s inform people of the evils of the world, but let’s not point fingers or place blame where there is really none. You can live a life of luxury and be charitable at the same time. The problem exists only when you take and give nothing. The problem exists when you don’t even pay attention.