I've heard quite a few stories that wring my heart in the past two weeks while traveling hither and far. Here's just a couple.
-A man and a woman living in Florida cannot reproduce together, so they take up foster care. In Florida you must have a child for one full year before the child can become available for adoption. For this couple, a total of 7 children were cycled through their home each at the 10 month mark - making it impossible for them to obtain custody of those whom they took care of. While assuming this position as babysitter for the orphaned, they were also given a number of charges which have left them in debt in lieu of having children.
-A couple that has been running the beer concessions for a certain festival-based organization over the past 22 years was brought into light at a recent meeting where their profits were severely undervalued. Long story short, where $12,000 was expected only $3,000 turned up. In tow with their apparent lack of financial responsibility, their presence is no longer welcomed due to their inconsistent behavior with the rest of the group leaders.
I am really uncomfortable with how most of the problems that I hear about today come from money. Relationships aren't only stopped from being fostered but also torn apart because one person's 'financial character' is not up to par with the expectations of someone else. A tool for services rendered becomes the soul behind our motivations, limitations, and aspirations. And who do we blame for this?
Anyone but ourselves.
I can't speak for everyone because I know that there are a lot of people out there who have it together. They know how to save, how to spend, how to be frivolous and cautious without even wincing; but even so I'm learning.
You've done this before too. Probably with Mom and Dad, you know, they tell you something again and again and then one day it finally clicks. What clicked for me is attitude. As in the way that you feel about something really messes up the picture of what the thing really is! If you look at the world in terms of money being a person-defining feature, you lose the same kind of love for the sales person that you would lose for your neighbor if you were not color blind.
I hope that everyone already knows that people are more than price tags and that there is nothing that stops you from new love today. And for those that you come across who are heavy burdened, please be discerning and help me to change the way the world sees money.
I'll end this with the way I should have gone through Saturday night:
Around 10:30 at IHOP things were getting crazy in the kitchen. The new shift had just come on and things were backing up with confused orders. While sitting down at a table with Sean we overheard a couple with a baby talking about how they had just received their first plate of food after waiting 50 minutes. They caught the attention of their waitress and demanded to speak to the manager. After a brief conversation explaining the molasses in the kitchen, the couple calmed down and resumed their meal. Not 2 minutes later our waitress came out with our pancakes. The lady made a comment about how we must have paid off the kitchen to get our food out so fast. While Sean and I finished up our meal the family finished their meal and headed out the door. I followed them. Out in the parking lot I tapped the husband on the shoulder and handed him a $20. After he asked what it was for I responded that the two of them did a great job handling themselves back in there; they had a baby, it was late, things were going unreasonably slow for such a late hour, but they still walked out of the restaurant without making a fuss. Good job, keep it up, watch out for others".
Pass on what you have in hopes of reinforcing love for others and patience for all things. Your tools make way for your work.
Furthermore, thank you Melissa. It is a great feeling to know that I have someone supporting my qualms about the field. You make the mission that much easier for me to walk into.