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“If you could sign up for a monthly donation…” I haven’t bothered adding up the amount of money I would need to agree to all the pleas for funds I receive daily—from charities, politicians, and action organizations. Even at the minimum (and, no, I don’t believe I can save anyone’s campaign with a mere $3.00 donation), I would be spending hundreds of dollars every single day. I don’t have that much. Period.
I send modest donations erratically in the desperate hope that enough formerly middle class people like me will be able to scrape together ample money to make a difference, but I’m not optimistic. We can’t possibly outdo the self-serving billionaires or corporations—certainly not daily. We have to hope voters hear our small voices and consider our sacrifices. Mostly, they don’t. People are used to shiny, plastic appeals—some stuffed with terrifying lies and ugly smears some folks seem to embrace because those appeals feel comfortable in their way. Candidates who lead with ethics and intelligence don’t always win. Not yet.
And then there are the charities asking for money. Need is exploding as funding sources are cut off one by one. Those of us who feel our responsibility in the family of living use caller ID to avoid accepting regular doses of guilt from hired callers. We KNOW they (whoever the “they” victims of the moment happen to be) don’t have what they need. We can’t take care of them all by ourselves. I just hung up from a pleasant conversation with a representative for Oxfam. Those from the Native American organizations aren’t usually as understanding, and the callers we’ve encountered who represent the Disabled Veterans can be downright hostile. What’s the point? No matter how much they beg, cajole, or berate, I still don’t have extra money.
I’ll admit I cannot fathom why people who work hard for their money (that never seems to go far enough) are willing to elect politicians who don’t give back to the Earth and the people who support them. I also cannot fathom why our society as a whole (thankfully, we see shining exceptions) is willing to degrade itself rather than accept simple solutions to problems like homelessness, pollution, or mass incarceration. Why are we so fond of blaming the victims—the poor, sick, aged, etc.—for their plight? Did we learn that attitude from the rich?
I’ve witnessed plenty of examples of rich people who believe that the rest of us aren’t rich because we aren’t good enough—certainly not as worthy as they are. But they seem perfectly content to shove the burden of caring for the Earth and its most vulnerable occupants onto us—the former middle class. They don’t concern themselves with the consequences if we fail. They live for themselves in the moment.
In the current WONDER WOMAN film, the main character Diana learns that humans contain both darkness and light. They often don’t deserve to be saved. But her boyfriend contends it’s not about what you deserve; it’s about what you believe. She concludes, “And now I know that only love can truly change the world. So, I stay, I fight and I give.” How can I do less than Wonder Woman? So I keep standing up and when I can, I send another tiny donation into the great beyond.