Searching for inspiration for my post, the wisdom of the young Anne Frank shines far beyond the words of many, more mature, statesmen and women. ‘No one has ever become poor by giving.’ How true, and how very profound.
It is the simplest of things that has pleased me most these past few weeks and months. I have made a personal commitment to giving small amounts of money, words or deeds, to those in need, on a regular basis. Goodness, how satisfying the feeling, with really, so little effort.
In case it seems that I have been rather selfish with my purse or attentions prior to recent times, I wish to set out my commitment.
I have decided upon a very simple course of action, and that is to commit a certain amount of money each month, held separate to general every day spending in my purse, to be given where needed.
Too often I have met with disadvantage, with people in need whilst out shopping or meeting friends, or dashing from pillar to post in a relentless hurry. At times I have change with me, but there are many times too when my purse lets me down, when I have no change and little time, and I walk by. I always feel the worse for my actions.
This past month, I have allocated some of my small social fund to the following causes –
- Buying extra items on top of my shopping trip to add to an organization collecting for a local food bank – http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects
- Giving money to a homeless man in my home town
- Giving to a busker near South Kensington in the long subway walk towards the V & A
- Giving the bus fare home to a young man who said he was stranded and had no money for a fare
- Buying a small amount of cat and dog food for the charity, Friends of the Animals – http://www.friendsoftheanimals.co.uk/
My goal is that part of my household budget each month is allocated to my social fund (it is not a great amount, but it is a beginning) and is ready and available to give as needs present. There is a selfish drive also, as I would prefer to direct my own giving, and have a great dislike of well-meaning t-shirted and lively young people bombarding me in the streets with clip-boards and a request for me to sign up for some or other cause. I have a similar objection to door-to-door collections, or people calling by phone during the working day with some dashed-off spiel, that most iritates.
To whom or what cause we give is very much a personal choice, based on our own lives and experiences, thoughts and inclinations. It was a great pleasure wandering along the pet food aisle of Tesco’s and choosing items for the trolley for Friends of the Animals. It is a joy I do not have, living in a house with no pets. It seemed to me also, that the simple act of adding a few items, encourages others also to give, and to pay attention.
So, lest it seems I have become all Mother-Theresa on the matter, I will say that I am commiting what I can, when and how I see best, during my daily life. The act of setting aside money in my purse has freed me substantially from that feeling that, this money is allocated for this purchase, or that travel need. It is a blessing, and I am pleased with my commitment. It is only a small thing, but it brings me joy, and I hope, some respite and relief somewhere out there to people in need of hope, comfort and care.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens