Help the children of those less fortunate
This time of year seems to give us pause to think about the less fortunate, but we all are caught up in the vicious cycle of poverty year-round.
Other than politics and conscience-cleansing coin tosses into a pot, there is little use for the poor. They are as threatening as a mobster who demands payment for protection. And, while most of our efforts are sincere, there is a sense of futility because, besides those who selflessly serve in the trenches, the rest are all too busy and harried to really make a difference. That is, by the time an adult asks for a handout, rather than asking for a job to do, we sense that it is all over and we willingly pay this kidnapper for the return of our souls. After all, it was only by our good fortune, and his hard luck, that we have met this way, and this is about the guilt we feel for having been raised in a culture that encouraged success, including those who can now afford Prozac.
I have an analogy for you. In my industry, construction, an old cement finisher taught me an important lesson. While he and his crew were placing a long stretch of concrete sidewalk in 90 degree weather, some of it was "getting away from them," setting up too fast. As concrete is very expensive and costly to repair or replace, the other workers frantically tried to save the portion of sidewalk that was setting up faster than could be managed. The old finisher stopped them saying it wasn't worth the effort, because while they toiled to rescue the rapidly setting material, the workable concrete also would be lost. Instead, they focused on the sidewalk that could be finished properly, and did so. His wisdom, or common sense, saved the most and wasted the least.
What I suggest is that the most productive way to slow the momentum of the wheel of misfortune is to positively impact the lives of its children. This can be anything from taking advantage of a random opportunity for a gentle public smile, to offering to help them with their home lives. The problem is that public acts of kindness are easy, and good, but that personal attention is extremely difficult, yet more effective.
If that old cement finisher was asked to take charge of this societal problem, he would likely tell us to stop fighting the old and concentrate on the fresh, or else it will "all get away from you." But he would end up quitting, discouraged, because his co-workers benefitted too much from failure.
Comporium scores with Panthers-Cowboys game
I'm very satisfied that we got the Carolina Panthers-Dallas Cowboys game Saturday.
Thanks to Comporium for the feed and to any others who were involved.