I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving and Christmas, but always in the back of my mind is the realization that my family and I have so much when others have so little. We're not rich, but we are comfortable and middle class. I donate to charities and personally help other families, but this doesn't completely assuage my feelings of guilt.
Do any of you have similar feelings?
Definitely. I'm glad you brought this up. It's hard not to think of the millions of people in this country and around the world who don't even have enough to eat. I think you are on the right track with giving and sharing... kudos to you!
Perhaps we can all ask one person to donate to charity in our name in lieu of a gift this holiday season?
Guilt is something you feel when you have injured or offended another person. Did you cause anyone to be poor? Is your wealth obtained by impoverishing someone else?
I care about those who are less fortunate by giving as you do, plus working at a local kitchen for people who have trouble getting by. (there are many this year). I don't feel guilty about having more than most people, but I do feel a responsibility to share.
Ron, maybe "guilt" is the wrong word to describe my feelings. Thanks for pointing this out.
It is not guilt in the literal meaning of the word... I think people understand exactly what you mean.
Ah, Ron - here, have a cupcake! It'll make you feel better!
habee, I'm sure many of us have felt what you describe. some of the greatest joy I've experienced is while holiday shopping for a family in need. giving in some way is the best antidote for those feelings. I imagine many of us have far more than we need in material possessions. this year I'm concentrating more on giving more of myself rather than materially, plus what I no longer need. I recently let my neighbor know I was getting rid of some clothes I thought might fit her. she was so excited, so I picked out nice clothing that doesn't fit anymore or that I don't wear and filled a shopping bag for her, plus gave her little three year old some books and little stuffed toys that I had from a birthday bag for the kids at school. I was saving it for a garage sale, but decided I would rather give it freely to someone in need. I think we do feel better in general when we give rather than get.
WOW! That was profound. Happy Thanksgiving Ron.
Yes, I feel that too habee. I live in a neighborhood where there are lots of apartments and children are playing around (who belong to lower middle class). Every other Saturday afternoon, they come here and I cooked for them, they eat, then go out and play again.
I don't know if I'd call it guilty but I do think of those who are less fortunate. This year everyone is getting donations to charity from me.
Not guilt, exactly. More "There but for the random powers of the universe go I". There's a vast difference between where I came from, where the rest of my family ended up at, and where I did.
Despite my lack of a belief in a god, I am intensely thankful. Around the holidays when I get to indulge my natural tendencies to spoil my children, I feel it even moreso.
It's not guilt, I think, but just awareness.
Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!
Guilt is not the correct word to use, Holle. It's just your conscience reminding you what you are being thankful for! A very good thing to have, a conscience. Be thankful for for having one, not everyone is so fortunate.
This is why you are so giving towards others. I remember going with your husband Johnny to deliver Christmas presents to some children living in a shack in the country when you guys lived on the farm.
I've been on both ends of the spectrum.. Right after I graduated high school, I found myself with nowhere to live and nobody to help. I ended up working the odd job here and there just to get by. --but, through it all, I never felt sorry for myself, and I think that most people in those situations feel the same.
Most are good people that have just had bad luck, but they are still proud of what they've accomplished, even if they don't have a lot.
So no, I don't feel guilty.. I feel bad for them, but not guilty.
If you live in the U.S., you live in a fortunate age and time. Like Rome, like the British Empire (whose time is still up, albeit not quite so bright as a couple hundred years ago), like ancient Egypt, the Aztecs and Incas, like the early dynasties of China, there were people who were the benefactors of those successful societies. All of them had dark, ugly, horrific parts, but all of them created wealth and opportunity for the lucky ones.
If you are a lucky one, you should enjoy it. A lot of people envy you. Will envy you. Have envied you long before you were ever born. You have an obligation to do something with your opportunity. Not to lament it. Not to regret it. Not to wish somehow you could tear down your nation's greatness and give it to some poor person somewhere else.
While a nice idea, global equality, the world has NEVER worked that way. So, be happy. Be more than happy, be elated at your incredible luck. Enjoy your place in the present Athens, the present Byzantium. You are in a fortunate minority. You owe it to those who have suffered to at least enjoy what it is they envy.
Hi Holle-I feel the same way when feeding my new grandson. I think of all the children who don't have anything to eat. How fortunate we are to be able to nourish our kids. I also think about the poor mothers and fathers of these children-they must suffer terribly. But then I feel grateful for the bounty of possibilities at my disposal, and celebrate Thanksgiving with more meaning than ever!
I know this sounds stupid but I tend to feel sad during the holidays. I'm happy to see people that I haven't seen in a while but I can't help but focus on other people who I don't know. I'll see cool toys and things, then think of the kids who would love to have it but could never since the necessities are more important. That probably isn't even a worry to them but it really bothers me. Every year I go to the giving tree's and pick kids names from the tree. As many as I can afford. In the envelope it lists things they need and to buy one. I end up feeling so guilty leaving anything out on the list so I try to find everything then I feel they need a surprise so I buy even more. Then I worry and feel guilty about all the other kids on the tree who I couldn't buy for. I wish I had Santa powers. Crazy I know!!
Yes, I do feel that. But I remind myself that I have never voted Republican and that helps.
Giving to someone in need is a great thing. Giving to charities who spend more than 15% on administration and advertising is not.
I don't feel none of that. I see so many people in my neighborhood receiving food stamps, welfare etc..who dont even bother looking for a job. I work two jobs and feel every day I am supporting the poor. Even people who work and have decent jobs with lots of kids still get food stamps for being lower middle class. These people always have money for cigaretts, beer and have nice cars, new furniture and that really pisses my wife off. Upsets me that I work two jobs to support my family and therefore don't qualify for aide. Wouldn't want to take it anyways.
Ya some people are down and out and need some help but no one like that living around me.
I'm not sure I understand what you are feeling guilty about? Do YOU know what you are feeling guilty about and why?
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