More Than Money
Issue #10

Learning From Each Other

Table of Contents

“We All Count”

I grew up middle class, but due to mental/emotional disability I have been living on Social Security benefits for the past seven years. I read More than Money cover to cover, and from each issue I get insights about my own use of money. I also occasionally attend the open "salons" the editors of More than Money hold here in Boston . Below are excerpts from a letter I wrote after one stimulating discussion group. - anonymous author

Ellie, please remember that "the poor" are individual people whose lives are just as deep as yours. The friend you referred to in our conversation is not just another suicidal poor person from a dysfunctional family. Her spirit, her individuality should be treated with as much care and dignity as your own angst. When a down-and-out acquaintance asks for $25 to fix a broken muffler, you don't really know what is going on. He could be going to work--or taking a dying child to the circus. Maybe this $25 will give him enough breathing space that she puts away thoughts of suicide for another day or week or month.

Here's what I want to say. First, to you, Ellie, and other rich folks: Your money is not enough. You can give away $500,000, but if you do it with no care or concern or spiritual reaching, it is not enough. The world needs the rest of you: your energy, your enthusiasm, your unique perspective. Next, to those who, like me, struggle away on low incomes: You are not left free by saying "my $5 won't matter", or "my $5 is all that I have." You have other resources--knowledge and experience and humor and the ability to survive no matter what--and you are called on to share them without excuse about smallness. I know that for me, the global picture is too overwhelming: millions of children begging on the streets for 1/100th of a cent, millions more each could be bought out of slavery for $50. Daunted, I often feel "Oh, what difference would my $10 do, it's not enough!"

I see now that the way out is to take the piece of work that's in front of me, and do it. That piece is mine. Your piece is yours.


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