Dear Next Generation,
It has been a while that I last wrote to you and I am sorry for that. I have a good excuse but it doesn’t matter. I do think of you often and had to send you another note. I wanted to share a story of caring with you.
I know that compassion is instilled in yours, the greatest generation ever but I believe we should talk about it a little bit further. I want to point out something that you do that makes me happy.
You were taught that giving is something a great generation does but did you ever consider what happens when you give? There are institutions that ask for your money and after expenses, do great things with it. You simply gift them some money and they pool your donation with many other people. After they have a pile of it, their board decides how to spend it. That’s very nice and all but did you know that there are more direct ways to be compassionate?
For exanple, you have many times stopped at an intersection and have been shown a scrawled cardboard sign asking for help. The person looks disheveled and unseemly and there are many of them. I know in your great big heart you think “poor bastard” and are greatful that you’re not in his predicament. I also know that your generation won’t pass judgment on the sight of this soul. You would never say to yourself that the beggar will just take the money and run right to the nearest liquor store. You hand him some spare change and he always says “God Bless” with an enormous smile. You smile and move along.
But did you know that there are some that do pass judgment and turn a blind eye while waiting for the light to change.?
I know that it’s hard to believe but it really does happen. Some have this knowledge that all beggars should have a job and are just trying to swindle you.
What they don’t know is that person holding the sign might take those few coins and run off into the woods. While the judgmental person drives on, the beggar arrives at an encampment. There is smoke from a fire boiling water in a dirty pot. In that pot are a few stale vegetables simmering into a weak stew. Beyond the woman tending the pot, there sits two little kids that look like they never knew anything but hunger. The woman’s face lights up when the beggar returns with success and a few coins clinking together. They might have meat tonight.
The judgmental driver arrives home and walks into his kitchen. He opens the refrigerator and stares at the overburdened shelves. He decides he isn’t hungry after all and closes the door. He doesn’t even think of the hungry beggar.
How would he have spent those coins or paper that he decided not to hand out the window? He has more than he needs and isn’t hungry. Odds are, that money would have been spent on something that means very little and unlike the importance to the hungry kids, not received a thought.
The money that your generation hands out will only satisfy one night of hunger. The money that isn’t handed out causes another night of grumbling stomachs.
Maybe the judgmental driver was correct. Maybe the beggar ran all the way to the liquor store. Your generation won’t risk the other outcome. You amaze me at knowing there’s no way to predict which is true. Your coins brought a smile to a hungry child. That loose money wouldn’t have made a difference in your life, but has the power to bring happiness even if it’s just for one night.
I am so happy that your generation knows this and without you, some would suffer. Your generation is successful and shares that success. In the future, historians will write this is a notable definition of the greatest generation.
I promise to write again soon, I am so very proud of you.
Until next time Dear Next Generation; Do try new things safely for you and your generation.