Money Talks, Walks, Etc.
I usually like to try to give a little bit of money or food or something to anyone who asks me for it, just as long as I can spare it. I know that a lot of people would argue with this saying that they are concerned about what people will spend the money on, or that they can't give enough to really help, or they can't help everyone, etc. Also, I know there are probably better ways to help, like volunteering, for example. But, I find it painful to turn my back on someone suffering, and I don't really buy into any of those rationalizations. What I think, is that even though I can't completely solve the problem, I can still do something in this moment right now. And it's important to do so to keep your compassion alive.
I usually try to keep some cash or change in my wallet for these cases, but lately, I've not been great at it. That's why I've decided to write messages on $1 bills and give one to each person who asks me for help. The messages will not only be for the individual who receives the dollar, but they will become more broadly circulated as the dollars exchange hands.
This first dollar's message, "the current conditions are not inevitable" comes from the Kathi Weeks book I am reading, The Problem with Work. I find it helpful to remember that the systems we create (including capitialism) are not elements of some natural indelible order of things; they are constructed things that can be deconstructed or changed or even erased completely. It is up to us.
Maybe putting this out there will help us in some small way to dream of a better world, to realize that we can still do something.