My family and I are not rich, or even well off. In fact I don’t even know if we would be classified a middle class. However, I do what I can for others. I really do try my hardest to be as philanthropic as I can. As a result I get many negative comments. Yes you read that right I get many negative comments. “Why in the world would you let someone stay with you in your house when you can hardly feed your own family?” ” I don’t know how you do it!!!!” Of course this one comes with the huffy shake of the head and condescending look that lets me know they do not approve. Well, tonight I would like to, once and for all, explain my actions.
I depend on other people a lot. I do not want to, but that is the situation that I am in. Due to my husband’s health issues I am the only one that works in our family. My paycheck is our sole means of support, and even that is significantly diminished due to one of my ex husbands horrible decision making that has cause a huge chunk of my paycheck to be garnished. So we also have no vehicle at the moment. I take the bus too and from work every day, and rely on really good friends to get us to the grocery store each week. Last night I was asked what my husband and I do for fun outside my house. The answer is nothing. We really do nothing except for the occasional Lan party that two of my husbands friends allow my daughter and I to tag along to. (Catie is a budding gamer, but that is a topic for another blog.) Anyway, the point I am making is that we do not get out of the house to do anything unless someone is nice enough to sacrifice and play taxi for us. We are also dependent on other people to bring us to church every week.
I do believe in the “pay it forward” idea. And since other people have sacrificed to help us out, particularly with transportation, I am then obligated to “pay it forward”. However, as I mentioned earlier we do not have much to give. So as I take an inventory of what I have to give I notice that the one thing I am able to maintain for my family is a roof over our heads. So what can I offer? As the hymn from my church goes: I can offer “my roof’s safe shelter overhead”. And so that is what I do.
Now this generosity of ours is not without it’s drawbacks. Just this past year we offered our home to someone that I thought to be a dear friend. In return he stole from us. He stole all of our DVDs that I treasured (one of the only possessions that I was proud of) and possibly a jump drive and an e reader. I was devastated. It hurt me to my very core. Yes I was angry that my DVDs and other things were gone. But more than that I am hurt. I am hurt that someone can see how much I am struggling and take the only generosity I can give and take advantage of that. Worse yet, it was someone that I had so much respect for. I am still very hurt, to the point that I am fighting tears even now as I write this. And I have not received so much as even an apology, from this person. Which hurts even worse. We all mess up and hurt those that are close, but he has not yet owned up and apologized. Which means that even though I respected him, he has no respect for me. It hurts bad.
Even after this betrayal we continued to offer our home to another friend. She has been a much different experience. She has helped with laundry and housecleaning. She has been a friend and listened at times to me and spoke to me about what was on her heart. We have fun and be goofy together. She has recently gotten a job and therefore she will be leaving us soon for her own roof. This makes me sad, mostly because, although we are now friends I am not really the type of person that she “hangs with” so I am not sure how often I will see her after she leaves. And I will miss her…..a lot. OK I will miss her more than a lot.
I will now and always “pay it forward”. I depend on others and as long as I am minus a vehicle and therefore I will give to others what I can. And yes, when we do obtain a vehicle I will be offering rides to any who need them.
My question is not why I do what I do…………..but why do you not do what I do? I am not going to judge anyone that does not open their home to others, as I have stated above sometimes that is a risky venture. But my question to everyone else in the world is, as another hymn goes “if I have not made someone’s load a bit easier, then I have failed indeed.”