Blogger-on-hiatus Jed Baer emailed me yesterday with a link to someone in need. (I helped Jed out a few years ago.) Fellow blogger Jeff Borland of The Poor Farm, “Jeffro” is his nom de plume, has lost pretty much everything he owned in a house fire, including his precious cat Rooster and almost all of his guns. People are pitching in to help, and the blogosphere is also responding as only we can.
I’m reminded of September, 2005 when Mostly Cajun lost his home, possessions and cats to a fire after Hurricane Rita swept through his hometown.
As for myself, there are two things that are bothering me. One – I cannot understand how I deserve all this help and largess. I don’t think I’m much different than anyone else, but I’m hearing that I’m not. Apparently my pal who wants to rent to me and my Cuz got together and figured this might just be a way for me to see just how good people could be, and teach me to take it. I’ve always been a do it yourselfer. Nope, don’t need no help doin’ that thang. Hate to bother ya, so I’ll do it myself.
Well, I cannot survive without sacrificing that kind of thinking.
Most of us on this side of the fence are fiercely independent. We don’t want handouts, we don’t want to be a burden. But there’s a difference between accepting help from friends and taking government handouts. One is voluntary, the other is taken at (implied) gunpoint and distributed at best inefficiently and at worst corruptly. Jeffro is getting immediate housing assistance from friends. Mostly Cajun got a FEMA trailer – after more than a month and a lot of runaround.
“Charity” is defined by Webster’s as “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” and “generosity or helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering.” You’ll note, it doesn’t say a thing about “compulsory.”
If you are feeling charitable, you can contribute to Jeffro’s recovery fund.
We form societies because, as much as we want to, we can’t always do it all by ourselves. I have to say, in my fifty years of life the society of bloggers is the finest one I have ever belonged to.