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"Hand Up" verses the "Hand Out" ... Rolly A. Chabot
Welcome as always to the Fireside or the pretence of having one. The chimney has been cleaned, the hearth cleaned out, fireplace tools are oiled and ready for the next season. So we are going to have to be like the Friendly Giant and simply pretend. Close your eyes and think of a warm crackling fire and we are all set to begin.
First each of you be sure and get your coffee, a treat and cuddle in close for another journey following my jabber as the fingers find their way. The two I use are well worn and hopefully they will spin you a story of the many blessings we can be to each other if we take the time to reach out.
Gather in close and lets see where this leads... Know you are all loved here and are a great blessing. Please leave a comment and share your ideas and thoughts ... Hugs to all.
Teach a Man
I think I can say in all honesty we have all heard the message, "You can feed a man a fish." You can when a man is hungry, or I hope we can in some way, even it is speaking into his or her life of love and compassion.
We have also all heard the message, "You can teach a man to fish and he can feed himself." This meaning of course coming along side of someone who is hurting to fallen on hard times. Maybe reaching out and again giving the skills to cope in a sometimes hard world.
Both have completely different meaning but both have the same message and yet both are done in love and compassion.
We have all felt it at one time or another, the alone feeling, maybe a bit lost in the sea of life. I know I have. It can be all consuming if we allow it to be. People all around us and yet we stand alone, all we have is an empty feeling and it soon turns to despair. It is not a great place to be, our thoughts can be all consuming and if allowed can be overwhelming.
I have had several of those moments in life and I am certain as you read this you can relate. I do hope you can also accept the hand someone offered to help you climb out of that place. I certainly can and it has made me ever so thankful someone was there. I will not bore you with any of the details, anyone who has followed me has read them before.
What I would like to focus on today is the importance of the "Hand Up and The Hand Out." Just how do we define the difference, when is it we decide we have done what we are called to do. When is it that a helping hand has to stop and accountability begin to take place. I think the answer resides in our hearts and can be found by being a little on the cautious side.
In all fairness to anyone reading this I think it safe to say we have been taken advantage of at one time or another. Should this stop us from offering, not in the least.
Canada has this amazing social safety net which has been created when people find themselves on hard times. It includes all facets of help from financial, physical and emotional needs, all relating to insuring we are provided for. I am so thankful our governments have put them in place and to see them used in a healthy manner is a blessing indeed.
I like most people can say it is amazing to watch another human climb from the pit of pain and come out a once again productive member of society, contributing to not only their well being but also the well being of others.
In the context of the greater picture of the two sayings I think the main reasoning behind them has been lost in our system. It is wonderful to know the help is there when needed, the issue being it is not meant to be a way of life. Yet it has become that way for many. I am certain each country has much the same in place, sadly there is little or no accountability attached to providing the help. Instead we have created this great ongoing machine that is protected with the belief we are doing what is right and just.
Pride is an amazing thing in life when we can sit back and look at a small accomplishment or for that matter a huge one. Pride can also be lost when we become accustomed to being handed everything on a silver platter without anyone being held accountable. I have seen it over and over again where it is expected and the feeling of entitlement takes hold.
I have no idea what the answer is when I look down the street and see the abuse. Some of the privileges I have come from hard work and planning. A good example took place just the other day at the grocery store. After I had placed my groceries on the conveyor I watched someone begin to stack theirs next in line. Mine were carefully selected fruits and vegetables and theirs were basically junk food, chips, pop and the like.
Sadly as I paid my 174 dollars for my groceries I stood back and watched the lady behind me demand the cashier to make certain there was room on the final total for a carton of cigarettes. The two children she had with here demanded they have their chocolate bars and candy. Her response was "Children we have to be careful as we only have so much money." At the checkout a voucher was produced to pay for everything, you guessed it. A welfare voucher and yes the cashier was careful to be certain there was enough room for the cigarettes.
I like many people see this happen far to often. I watched her load her groceries into her two year old SUV parked beside my late model vehicle while the children fought over the junk food. Mother in the meanwhile was opening the cartoon of cigarettes, lit one and stood relaxing enjoying her smoke then slipping into the car.
I had to ask myself. "Am I being judgemental without knowing the true story?" Maybe yes. "Has she ever been taught the life skills to make proper choices?" All questions we are entitled to ask when we see our tax payer dollars being poorly spent. Are the people who manage our resources doing their jobs by monitoring clients who use them?"
I am reminded of the day I was entering a restaurant to find a homeless man nearly in tears. It was obvious he was unkempt. I could have walked past without saying a word but I stopped and asked if I could help. His response was he had worked a casual job all day, he had the money to buy a meal yet he had been refused service. I felt the need to reach out and help. We entered the restaurant again and the young manager asked the man to leave a second time. I spoke up and said he was my guest and it was wrong to refuse a man his right to a meal. He was told to get his meal and leave.
As it turned out we sat the better part of 3 hours talking much to the dislike of the young manager.. I learned his story and it was a sad case indeed. Through several misfortunes he had fallen on hard times, after he left I was told by the same manager they had chased him off many times for digging through their dumpster. What I learned from the experience is this man was trying. I was at a mens conference 3 years later and this same man I had shared a meal with was one of the guest speakers sharing his story.
We can make a difference by reaching out. We have to trust in doing so our kind gesture will touch and hopefully change a life. In this case it was a simple kind gesture, a caring ear to listen and being able to show compassion. Both of these incidents taught me just how different we can respond, each taught a lesson. Before you judge place yourself in that persons shoes for a moment. In my case it taught me to be far more thankful for what I have.
Take a moment
I am ever thankful for having all I have been given, thus being able to help in a small way where I can. Life is far to short to pass judgement so quickly without understanding the true story of another.
I thank you the faithful reader for reading my thoughts. You do make myself and many others aware we can make a difference if we take the time to offer a kind word, to give that hug unselfishly to someone who can use one. May we all take the time to see just how blessed we are and share where we can.
© Rolly A. Chabot