THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS

PLAY GOD OR GOD’S WIFE   SHARE AND CARE WHERE AND WHENEVER YOU CAN.  This inspiring little story came from one of my favorite bloggers on WordPress.  Thank you Mirth and Motivation.    She also opened with a quote from Groucho Marx’s which is worth repeating.  “If you’ve heard this story before, don’t stop me, because I’d like to hear it again.’  She had several other inspiring stories to share, but this was my favorite”

Socks and Shoes by an unknown wise one

A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”

STAYING STRONG TIP: Play the loving God or his wife, you’d be surprised how much that adds to your life.

Part of today’s struggle and strife between the haves and the have less and the have-nots is leaving caring up to the Government or God.

Jerome Kagan, my favorite Human Development theorist, points out that karma and reincarnation probably developed as beliefs in countries where there was a wide gap between the rich and the very poor.  Seeing one’s place as determined by Karma or past lives was mainly useful for the well off.  Such beliefs justified not caring; the  poor  are  living out their karma which must not be triffled with or suffering the bad vibes earned in previous lives.

Then along came the Presbyterians and Puritans with their ideas of Predestination.  Those blessed with good fortune to have enough and more, were those who lived the lives described by the “Good Book” and so were favored by G-d; again, the poor were getting their just desserts.

The American Welfare system is partly based on the Puritan Ethic of God will give so government need not.  However, two other forces were at work.  One, most religions also believed in tithing, giving at least ten percent of what you had to the poor.   Sadly, statistics show that except for the very religious  who continue to tithe, most don’t give to charity;  the further the connection from a formal religion, the less people give.  Today, many will give  only what provides a a tax write-off.  give less charity than the truly religious. and the less the government helps the better; moreover, it is part of why being poor is seen as a moral problem.

The second strand leading to a welfare system based on the “worthy poor” developed because in early America everyone not only could find a job, but as the word Puritan Ethic everybody needed to work and all work was valued. A job for every one was possible for most until the Great Depression.

Some ranking of jobs existed, education was for those who had a bit more than most.  Work was work, it was what you did to put food in your stomach, enjoy the contrast of hours spent not working, and then be tired enough to get a good night’s sleep.  Many raised their own food and lived on small farms in small communities.  People often helped even those deemed lazy or un-deserving;  in today’s world most of these would be seen as seriously emotionally challenged and that includes those who drink or drug too much.

In time the Puritan Ethic morphed into the work ethic.  Those who by all appearance’s could work were expected to work or left to their own survival devices.  Those who could not work lived on relatives, others on the churches, some turned to criminal behavior, some died.  Today the work ethic has morphed into a work only at what makes you happy.  That was beginning to change in the 1950’s for my fathers advised me, “You will have to work all your life, try to find work you love.”  I was lucky I found such work.  Sadly, too many of today’s youth think work that doesn’t make you happy is to be avoided.  Sound like an OF. Old F—. Maybe, but talk to any manager’s working with todays newest group of college graduates.

Only with the coming of the Great Depression did the government became seriously involved in caring for those not caring for themselves.  Social security was first  enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935.  Then and now social security continues the idea that one has to work to be entitled for help; social security is an insurance plan requiring people pay into it to be eligible.  Many calls for health reform use the same model–you have to buy into the plan.

I prefer a different  idea particularly in a world where many jobs in the more developed countries have become computerized.  Think of gas stations, receptionists, telephone operators if you doubt this.  Even medicine is becoming increasingly more computerized.

My idea is that all are worthy of food, shelter, education,  job training,  a job, and adequate medical care.  The government could be the employer of last resort.  Those caring for young children, aged parents, or disabled family members in their own home could opt to be paid a minimum wage by the government.  That wage would be  taxed but would also included health and retirement benefits.  An impossible dream, but one I still hold.

STAYING STRONG TIP: The more you give, the stronger you grow, particularly when you give without expecting gratitude but from you own realization that you can give in a world when many cannot.

Meanwhile, here are two  quotes to think about and to motivate you to give move.  I guarantee you will be seen if not as God or God’s wife as a human angel.  If not, remember,  whether appreciated or not,  giving and being kind strengthens you .

If someone comes to you and asks for your help, you shall not turn him off with pious words….you shall act as if there were no G-d, as if there were only one person in all the world who could help; only yourself. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Moshe Leib, 17th Century Rabbi of Saslov
 
The bread that you store up belongs to the hungry; the coat that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold that you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.                    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          St. Basil, Bishop of Caesaria, 4th Century AD

Share, care, and stay strong. 


 

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