Not Gonna Teach My Kids Charity with Conditions Anymore

I have struggled with how to handle street corner panhandlers for years. I think a lot of people struggle with the same thing. You see someone clearly in need. You want to do something. Your heart hurts for that person. Yet you don’t know what the right answer is, so you do nothing.

The holidays are here, the year is drawing to a close, and it’s a time for gratitude and reflection. I have had a lot to reflect on lately. One of those things is this: by ignoring those in need right in front of my face I am justifying and teaching my kids charity with conditions. One of my resolutions for the new year is to break that cycle.

You can read more about what’s driving this quest in my blog post for Scary Mommy.

2 thoughts on “Not Gonna Teach My Kids Charity with Conditions Anymore

  1. Herschel December 20, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    better to donate time and money to organizations than individuals? Explain the macro view of the economic cycle to help these people


    • plainspokenmama December 26, 2016 / 3:32 pm

      I’m not educated in economics, and I have not researched the homeless, so I cannot explain what you are asking me to explain. The beauty of blogging for communities like Scary Mommy is that it enables me to share my journey, my thoughts, and my attempts at becoming a better person all via the neat little package of a personal essay. For me, when we ignore the human beings in front of us who are clearly in need and donate only to organizations we deem worthy, we are doing ourselves a disservice. Worse, we’re teaching our kids that it’s okay to ignore desperation directly in front of them. An amazing priest I know turned me onto this. Really, what is $2 or $3 to you? Are you going to miss it? No. Giving to the needy directly in front of our faces allows us to exercise the same emotions that we use for inclusivity. This piece is about empathy building and feeling emotions for ALL people and teaching our children to do the same. It’s also about me growing as a person. What’s right for me isn’t going to be right for someone else. Sorry I couldn’t answer your question, but thanks for reaching out.


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