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
Below are excerpts from a letter I wrote after one stimulating
- anonymous author
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.
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!"
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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