Amazing how good I look for a depressed person going through chemo. Don't you think? Make-up, wig, lighting all help.
So today I was thinking about something, and I want to ask a question of those of you who read this who haven't helped me in any way, especially financially. I am going to put you on the spot, but the good thing is that no one has to know the answer - except you.
My question is, do you WANT to help me? At the core, do you have any desire at all to help? Next piece...if yes, have you ever said, or thought, that you can't, or are unable, to help? If so, I am going to suggest that you, one, haven't thought small enough, and/or two, haven't considered just how valuable something seemingly small is.
I do not need you, or anyone to solve every problem - or even any problem - that I may seem to have. I just need you to be a part of a solution. I need you to be willing to see that what you do tangibly, no matter how seemingly small, matters. I have had people tell me that there is the thought that the holes are so gaping some think they can't possibly fill them, and therefore they do nothing.
I don't need things filled. I just need them added to. There are those who try to help, and they sometimes apologize for amounts of $50 not being enough, or hoping that it helps. It absolutely helps. So do the times people actually listen to me, and contribute $1. It all matters.
This blog has now had over 60,000 views. If each view netted me a quarter, it would help me survive for several months without having to ask for anything. When donation amounts are in the 1000s, they have the ability to essentially "buy" a person's silence. I know it may sound crass, but I am all too acutely aware of the fact that I am breaking rules in how I approach things.
We have this idea, this rule, that things like this need to be unspoken. I am talking about the types of things no one wants to hear about, so we have a silent agreement. I won't talk about it, and you shouldn't, either. Let's admire the silence, and call it strong and dignified. Let's get offended and bothered when a person breaks this convention, and judge them lacking in some way, as we judge their approach. They obviously are needy, and not strong.
By doing this, we can likely keep others who may consider speaking up in line. No one likes to be judged. No one likes to be embarrassed. Many want to avoid conflict. We make it uncomfortable enough, and we can minimize our discomfort by not having to face another's discomforts.
If you don't want to help me, then it is a different story. We all have our stuff, and our reasons for things. I can't expect that every person would want to help, and I certainly do not. However, there are times people say they want to help, only to follow it with how they can't. I really want to dispel that latter part.
I want to dispel it, not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of the many others who find themselves in need. And there are many, for a myriad of different reasons. The "I can't help" reason needs to be dispelled for the benefit of us all. We need to stop saying we can't when really...we just don't want to. We have allowed ourselves to say things that are more socially acceptable to excuse us from stuff for reasons that make us seemingly sound bad.
You CAN help more than you realize. It just may be that you are not thinking small enough. But, first, and foremost, you have to want to.
One reason I think we are so overwhelmed by requests is that we use our logic to guide us. We get overwhelmed by our logic. It becomes too much to consider and cope with, so we wind up tuning much of it out. It is just easier that way. If we could all begin to tune more into what our GUT says about someone, or some thing, we will have a better chance of being able to make choices that are much less overwhelming, and that are much more compelling and effective for all involved.
Most anyone reading this could probably spare $1 a day. Most would likely never miss it. But that is still approximately $30 a month, so it could be a problem, as something in the month might be affected. What about $1 per week? That is $4 per month. How many of you would really miss that? It might mean buying one less coffee per month.
What about simply $1 per month? Are you going to tell me that you are going to miss it? I think it is more likely you just don't want to make the effort. You just don't want to do it, rather than the fact that you can't.
Of course, I could be wrong. I am not you. However, I raise this conversation as a way to get those who may not have considered this possibility to give it some thought. We deserve better than to let ourselves off the hook this way.
I am going to propose something that I hope you will consider. I propose that you take a look at this conversation, and be honest with yourself about what you truly think. Then, I propose that you consider those who ask you for help from an intuitive/gut place. Is this the right person/circumstance to help? If the feeling/answer is yes, give $1. If it feels right to give more, do. But if you are in a habit of declining all requests, I say $1 so you can start small. You can do a little something to help re-wire your brain and feelings about the requests, and those who make them.
Give from your heart, and refrain from allowing yourself to judge what your gift will be used for. Most people in true need will never be frivolous with what is given to them. It is more than likely those who have never been "there" that will think negative kinds of things, also likely as a "reasonable" excuse not to do anything. It wouldn't be too difficult to find agreement from others for this approach. Others need to agree with you, so their excuses are valid, and validated, too.
We are so "good" to each other when it comes to our excuses. What if we were good to each other by helping another in need, instead. It doesn't have to be a huge investment; any investment in another would do. I truly think we'd get a lot farther as a world and culture - and as human beings - if we could start to break down the types of things that allow barriers to be be built and then continue to stand.
In the end, you will do, or not do, what you do, or don't do. If it truly makes sense to you, and/or fits, then that is truly all that matters. But. If there is any doubt or question in your mind about it, you owe it to yourself to consider other possibilities. All too often we are conditioned by another's ideas and beliefs so fully, we come to claim them, and believe they are our own, when they are not, and sometimes no where even close to truly being ours.
A possible sign it isn't really ours? A level of discomfort with the conversations we have or the choices we make.
If you are ever in a position that is anything like mine, or another in need, you will hope that the kindness of strangers will be greater than their judgments. You may think that is the case, as a general rule, but finding oneself in a predicament like mine shows you that appearances can sometimes be deceiving. It can show you just how contradictory and judgmental and excuse making human nature can be and just how important it is to look good, even when excusing oneself from doing something good for another.
It may be that the things I describe are "human nature." That, too, is an excuse for us to continue on any given path. I don't know about you, but I think we deserve better than to allow ourselves to continue to do this type of thing without question or alteration.
If you want to do something good, do it. If you don't want to do something, at least be honest enough with yourself about not wanting to do it. Be honest about your judgments. Consider looking at things a different way - or not. And consider respecting others enough to either get to know them better, or at least not being dishonest about what you choose not to do. Odds are, the people you judge - or choose not to help - already know the "truth" any way. One can not deal with a situation that has similarities to mine - for any length of time and not be able to see things more clearly than most they deal with.
It is late. I am tired. I hope I might have made a bit o'sense, and perhaps given you something to consider.
It might be odd to end this with a request for you to check in with your gut regarding helping me. Would that mean everything I said was leading to that, and somehow discredit my overall conversation?
At the same time, I do need help, and for some it might seem to be an obvious missing if I didn't bring it up.
Do you see how it might be a no win situation for me? I certainly do.
Having said that, if $1 is something you could spare, and are willing to spare, each month (or even once), and I am someone that your gut appreciates and likes, and you are willing to listen to it, I have the perfect idea for you to consider: Patreon.com/jolope thank you.