Back in December, I was overcome with tears at the secret Santa’s who gave anonymously so that families in need could have a better Christmas. As I know first hand, it is easy to feel isolated and forgotten when you are overwhelmed. Many people are struggling and feeling subsumed beneath the ongoing grind of economic strife and lack of employment.
People hear the economic numbers and the unaffected find it convenient to dismiss them, forgetting that they translate into actual families and individuals.
The 4 million foreclosures forecasted this year, are 4 million crushed dreams. More than just shelter, it is the hard work, the hoping, planning and sweat it took to carve out one place on the planet to call your own, to retreat, renew and build – gone. In many cases, after years of sacrifice.
How about the inability to meet basic needs like buy healthy food, pay for health insurance, or keep the heat on?
As the events of 2008 proved, life can flip you on your head with no warning. Unless you are someone like Romney whose safety net extends beyond our shores. Say for instance…
- The bank cuts off your equity line of credit, or claim (repeatedly) that they lost your HAMP application.
- Your food stamps get cut without warning, or the state announces that they have no money to keep your child’s school running.
- The GOP decides another unemployment insurance extension is not a priority, or heartless maniacs cheer at the thought of letting the uninsured die while the insurance companies make billions off the sick.
It can, or has happened, to someone you know right now.
Sometimes, the so called safety net is not enough. Only the Romneyesque with the convenience of many mansions, servants and staff, who buffer him from the hardships or every day life, can believe that it is.
So many more of us have been fighting to fulfill our basic needs for longer than 2008 and it is only now that the house of cards almost collapsed and numbers of the poor are increasing that the embattled have moved – center stage.
In my opinion, man is at his best during times of stress. People find unknown stores of strength to fight and others feel compelled to lend a helping hand. It is the good thing about crises, seeing how people come together and forget about race, class, sexuality and all the other factors that we use to divide ourselves.
Which is why I am totally psyched and inspired by my latest find.
Kudos to Chris Jansing and The Grio.
The Grio, which I love, is a great online publication for African American news. The Grio.com’s 100 showcases 100 African Americans who are making history. Browsing the diversity of categories is nothing short of inspiring and informative but my favorite is Service & Activism.
Take a look at the following story about the emerging phenomenon of online giving, featuring the fantastic Andrew Bo Young III. Andrew is the CEO of Givelocally which connects charitable individuals, in a new and personal way, with those who are in need.
Make no mistake, the gift of giving is not quantified by dollars, but the currency of caring and kindness. It is the greatest gift you can give, one straight from the heart.
Blessings to all who sacrifice and uphold their fellow man. They make me proud to be human, unlike the GOP who make me wish I could become a tree ;). Hey, it could happen lol.