Charitable Stupidity

Are you familiar with the adage “if charity is worth doing, it should begin as far away from home as possible and preferably on the other side of the world where it can be combined with a little vacation time and fun?” (Excuse me while I take a breath). I sincerely hope you are not familiar with this saying. Otherwise, you’d fall into the undesirably dense category of stuper (short again for a deplorably stupid person).

My dear friend Becky, practices law. She manages to escape once per month for a week to visit her elderly father who lives eight hours away in a nursing home for veterans. As you may imagine, Becky is a generous, kindhearted person.

Becky’s older sister, Dana, also a lawyer, does not visit Dad more than once annually. Poor Dana has no time, gosh darn it. Her newfound religion requires her to take far-flung missions to spread the teachings of her faith. Last year, she traveled to China and got to see the Great Wall. And before that, a ski trip to the Swiss Alps was in order. She’s thinking of the Greek isles for next year. Although her father calls and tells her he misses her, Dana knows he understands. People who live on the other side of the earth are just as important as ailing Daddy. Actually, according to Dana, they’re more important.

Then there’s Melissa who lives ten minutes away from her grandparents. They see her at family gatherings every so often. They’d like to see more of her, but Melissa is very involved in her junior league charity work. It’s a wonderful organization that throws posh parties, proper teas and even arranges Caribbean cruises for members…when they’re not distributing cans and gathering scarves for the homeless, of course. Granny and Grandpa just aren’t as fun as Melissa’s charity group pals.

Stupers have a sort of brain fog when it comes to charity. To be meaningful, volunteer type activity for stupers must involve more than just helping others. And it’s far more interesting when aid involves people they don’t know.

If you keep your eyes and ears open (unlike stupers who have about as much awareness as a split pea), you’ll notice there are always people who need help: the older man without a cell phone who’d like to make a quick call, but isn’t allowed to use the store phone; the weary looking lady behind you in line at the market with only one or two items; or the forlorn faced person who could use a friendly smile. And for more formal charitable work, there’s the public library, local homeless shelter, the Humane Society, senior center, Boys and Girls’ Clubs…

Stop and think about what you’re doing…or not doing.


7 Responses to “Charitable Stupidity”

  1. So sad when family takes a back seat to, well anything. Those two women will be sorry when their loved ones aren’t around to neglect anymore.

  2. Keli says:

    New Diva:
    I agree. But I’m sure both of these women will find new people to neglect as stupers are wont to do.

  3. Agnes Mildew says:

    I wish charity did begin at home, too. I would love my daughters to view my battle-torn face with sympathy and pick up their dirty underwear after them…

    You are very right, though. Unfortunately, although I do strongly encourage my girls to visit with their grandparents who have recently decided that I am persona non gratis, their umbrage at their mother’s ill treatment ensures that they won’t. Some people can bring on their own misfortune, can’t they?

  4. Keli says:

    Yes, they most certainly can. I too have an unkind relative who has convinced me that I’d be far better off without her. Consequently, my kids don’t care to see her either. It seems so much simpler to treat each other nicely, but yet the challenge of kindness is too much for some stupers.

  5. Suzie says:

    I sympathize with Becky. My mother lives with me. I have three brothers. They’ve never thanked me for taking care of mom. They call her periodically, and if I or my mom invite them over for lunch or dinner they will come to eat and run. I could use their help, but they’re not interested in giving it.

  6. Julianne says:

    Vomit. As the member of a family in which a certain matriarch is neglected by 75 percent of her children, this makes me sick. I worry, though, that they won’t live to regret it unless it somehow affects their bank accounts.

  7. Keli says:

    I’m sorry you’ve got lackluster bros. Their loss.

    I hear you about the neglect and the bank accounts. They seem to go hand in hand with stupers.

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