I have always wanted to do something random, to make somebodies life brighter, but...I have not accomplished this as often as I wish.
Oh, I have popped in for surprise visits to folks, and made their day, but...I should visit these people more often, so, that doesn't count. I give to the Poppy fund, but, again, I should likely give more, and that isn't random. I have "paid it forward", but that was after someone did something totally unselfish for me, so again, doesn't count.
I am aware that I come across as a mean, cold- hearted human being, but, deep down inside there is a good witch. I am that person who turns on the TV and wants to send all those poor starving children enough money to stop those tears. I hate those commercials, because as a mother who raised 3 children, I can hear those cries of hunger, and pain, and they cause me pain. But, then again, because I no longer trust any societies, or funds, or campaigns, my pockets stay closed.
Oh, once upon a time, when I thought we were doing pretty good financially, I did adopt one of those children. I was surprised when I got a picture of a boy in Peru with these lovely coloured suspenders, really, Peru? But, hey, children suffer all over the world,so this was the one I would help. I faithfully sent in my monthly payments, got a typed letter every so often, and then the trouble started. Suddenly, on top of the money I was required to send, I started getting requests for birthday money, school money, special occasion money. About this time, I also had a flood in the house we had sitting empty (insurance did not cover, because it was empty). I got a foreclosure letter on this house as well, because we were barely making ends meet. Well, we fixed the flood damage, struggled and paid the house off. However to do this, my kids went without birthday money, and special occasion money. If they had not decided the original amount was not enough, and constantly asked for more and more, maybe I would have found a way to help this child, but...when I had to take from my own, the decision was made to end my commitment. Funny, I still wonder about this boy...see not totally cold. But, that was when I started to question all of these do-good folks. The constant requests made me uncomfortable, and also pressured. I imagine when those adoptive "parents" felt the urge to send a little extra, that should be their choice. Maybe if I had got some sort of form letter stating they would need this extra at specific times, I would have been aware, but..nope, just one after another. So, when I see those ads, I wonder, how many people are making a living off these poor children, and how much of this money is going somewhere beyond that child.
So, that random act, did not work. I suppose there is still time for me to do something to change another person's life, for the good. I came very close a few weeks ago, but someone beat me to it.
My daughter and I were getting some last minute stuff in the Bargain Store. Our Christmas was not going to be what we were used to, we were stuck working away from home. No big tree (found a tiny 2 foot pre-lit thing in one of the apartments we were cleaning) no Christmas lights in the window. We had been so busy, even the gifts were limited. But, my Honey was going to come out and spend the day, my son drove out from camp, and had dinner with us, and my oldest was spending the first Christmas in her new home with her family, so....we were luckier than many. As we got in line, a little girl was at the till. She must have been about 6. I heard the cashier tell her she didn't have enough money, and the girl put her item down, and started to walk back to see what she could afford.
Do you remember being that young? Do you remember shopping for gifts with your very own money? Oh, I remember those days so clearly. I would collect bottles, when I was too young to "work". I remember the first gifts I bought my parents with my bottle money. I bought my Mother a set of perfume from Simpson's Sears, it was a collection of paris perfumes. My Dad was the lucky recipient of one of those dried fruit trays, also from Sears. I remember how thrilled I was to give these gifts, all by myself! So, that moment in the lineup, I knew I was going to allow this child that same satisfaction, and I felt my heart grow.
Well, guess there are more folks who remember that feeling, because the woman in front spoke up before I could. She asked the cashier how much the girl was short, and paid it. I missed out on that random act, but, I still felt the warmth. The cashier called the girl back, gave her the little purse that she had left on the counter (it was for her sister) and told her the woman had helped pay for it. Her smile was amazing, it was pure joy, something only children possess. She thanked the woman, and then again, came back, and thanked her once more.
This will remain with me forever. I have heard of random acts that were enormous, this tiny act, took me back to that time when I bought my first gifts, and gave me a gift of my own. Who knew I would get something this wonderful in the Bargain Store!