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Give, to prosper 

Helen Saulsbury

Take a deep breath, America, as we look at the number of foreclosures, the stock market dive, and the percentage of unemployment. What is the reverse of those numbers?  Around 90 percent of people are still in their homes. And 93.3 percent of people are still working and a lot of people weren’t in the stock market.

I am not naïve about how serious this is, but panicking and dwelling on it makes it worse. This is now the time for each of us individually to help one another. We can do it better and help those who truly need it, better than our grossly inefficient government can.

We can help our neighbors. Churches can distribute food and clothing. The Salvation Army offers shelter. There are wonderful lessons that can be learned in hard times. Young people can work and give the money to the family instead of spending it all on themselves. This is a great lesson in contributing for the good of the whole family. If you haven’t already, now is the time to teach them to cook, clean, do laundry, and help in every way around the house. They have more respect for and take better care of things when they have to pay for it and maintain the things necessary in life. (If you were never taught, then bring grandma in to teach all of you).

No matter how old or young, start today—helping makes you bond as a family and gives each the much needed skills for their future. Remember, you are raising someone’s husband or wife.

All of us can learn that we don’t really need half of the stuff in our homes. Share it with someone who has nothing.

A family that is close will weather the bad times. A community that shares can help. The worse thing we can do is to feel sorry for ourselves and sit waiting for the government to come save us. No job is too menial. If you only make minimum wage, that is more than if you do nothing. It’s something, until something better comes along.

Trust me, you won’t die from being poor. I was raised “no shoes” poor and we did lots of fun things that required no money. But, best of all we relied on each other to get through the hard times.

As bad as it all seems, this too shall pass and when it does, I hope none of us forgets what’s really important.  And, it is not all the things we acquired on our credit cards!

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