Monday, December 31, 2012

The Moral Cliff is Looming



There is a guy that I know that knows a guy who has a brother who has a friend who knows someone that might be able to help me with a financial issue I have.  We all go through hard times and in those trying times we need to be able to count on our friends and family or at least on those “special” acquaintances that are so important in our daily associations. 

All I need is some extra money to pay some bills, buy a few essentials, a new car would be nice, but that’s not going to happen.  From time to time everyone needs a little extra help to smooth over the hard times, get a little cushion between paychecks so the kids don’t have to eat watered down chicken soup or macaroni and cheese three times a day.  Most of us have been there and most of us have someone we can turn to in times of great stress.  For those who do not, life can be very stressful and very difficult indeed; I am empathetic to their plight, having had to deal with the reality of financial stress more than once and not having anyone to turn to.

The idea of charity has been heavy on my mind, especially over the Christmas season when the entire season prompts us to look outward, be kind, be giving but how can one be giving when one has nothing to give?  The quick answer:  We all have something to give.  Even the most destitute of our brothers and sisters have something to offer, they may not understand or know how but it’s there, perhaps well hidden and obscured by layers of self-doubt, financial clouds, depression or mental illness but it’s there.  The value of a human being is the ultimate value of all things or at least it should be.  Too often we discount the feelings of others, slash the price of suffering, or simple discard the plight of another hurting soul just because we don’t want to feel uncomfortable.

My current financial dilemma pales in comparison to the anguish and sorrow of so many, leaving me with a slight disgusting taste that has affected my ability to enjoy New Year’s Day.  How can I enjoy the rose bowl parade or the twenty five football games when I feel marginally guilty about having so much and they have so little?  How can I revel in the finger foods, or look forward to the midnight snacks as the New Year tolls anew, when there are they who have no joy, no companionship, no hope?

I’m not one to make resolutions, I try throughout the year to gauge my life, changing those annoying habits, altering the perceptions that cause me to be less than I could be or should be.  This year however I feel the need to resolve to be a better human being, less selfish toward those in need.  Who am I to judge, who am I that I cannot spare a dime for a brother or sister in need?  I resolve to look beyond myself, look past my wants and be more resolute in my resolve to restore the wretched and wayfaring.

The fiscal cliff means nothing to those without.  My desire for high interest loans from a Guido I do not know, so I can enjoy a few finger foods forged with felicitous fingers should cause me pause, and it does.  What’s really important in life is not the despicable leaders who fail to lead and hostage our future for their own personal gain, it’s important but not so that we should forget those in real jeopardy.  Our neighbor, the widow with her lawn overgrown, the family in distress, the homeless guy pushing his shopping cart, the teenager wandering the streets, the list is very long and very sorrow filled.  We have the resources, we have the time, we have the money.  What we don’t have is the resolve.  

Again I resolve to open my eyes at the worried looks of my neighbors, seeing the pain in ones walk or the anguish deep within a falsetto smile.  I resolve to be more caring, more patient and to act in such a manner that others will know of my resolve to help.  The answer is not in government, not in social programs but in the generosity of soul to soul, heart to heart, being able to look respectfully into the eyes of those in need and realize we are all in need, sharing that understanding and resolving to grow together, build each other until all are well and happy.

Happy (guilty conscience) New Year.