This blog is kind of like a diary for me, and while it's primarily a golf diary, it's mine to use as I wish. This post is not about golf. Just a heads up for those readers who only want golf stories.
Maybe I have a fragile psyche. The question I ask myself is whether or not I’d like to strengthen it. With me, it’s kind of all or nothing so I’d probably have to really shut off my emotions and be a hard, cold person to achieve that. After
With all the suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, again I feel guilty for enjoying anything. I admit I have golfed, but I’ve tried my best to not enjoy it. How stupid is that? I mean, if we can’t go about our normal lives, that’s like letting Mother Nature win, right? Wait, I think I’ve got some crossed wires in my programming. Anyway, I haven’t been inspired to write anything or post anything because it just didn’t seem important enough with all that’s going on.
I see all the finger pointing going on over what went wrong. I agree that there were some serious problems with the “emergency response” but isn’t what really went wrong that a giant f*&%ing hurricane hit the coast? At least after 9/11 we not only had someone to blame, we had someone taking responsibility for it. That made it easy for everyone to rally together against the bad guys, feel really angry and figure out what to do about it. Okay, so that response was (is) troublesome, too, but that’s another article altogether. So people are looking for someone to blame. Here’s a hint: they call it an “act of God.” Or, if you prefer, an “act of Nature.” I know, I know, it’s hard to get angry at and especially hard to punish God or Nature. And since we, as humans, have the ability to help one another in times of crisis, the scrutiny is going to fall on those with the power to do the most. The angry wrath of the masses will follow when that scrutiny uncovers errors, ineptitude or the perception of it.
Meanwhile, I use the same rationale to blame myself and feel guilty. I’m neither nature nor God (really?), not even an elected official. Somehow, I still feel like I’m one of the ones with the “power to do the most” yet I sit back and do nothing. Therefore I feel guilty and try not to let myself enjoy even the smallest pleasures while the people are dying and suffering. A lot of good that does. So, with that in mind, I want to share my idea for helping because I know I won’t get off my ass and do it and maybe someone else actually will run with it.
We Help Us
When people see suffering, we want to help. At least most of us do. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to help by contributing piles of money. Some have the luxury to be able to donate their time and actually get in there and physically help. These people are even more fortunate because now that they’ve contributed they can feel better that they helped. Most of us can only afford to donate a little money and have to continue to work and pay the bills instead of volunteering our time or we’d end up homeless and in need of others’ help. We’d feel better if we could do more, but there’s just no way without putting ourselves in a worse situation. So WE need to help US. The victims or survivors of Katrina need the most help, and the rest of us need help helping.
My idea is to start a charitable foundation to which people who can afford it donate money and the rest of us can donate time. The reason the rest of us can now afford to take the time to donate is because the donated money is going to pay our salaries while we take leaves of absence from our careers. Businesses donate employees and either make the sacrifice to have an open position or fill it temporarily and essentially donate the amount of the salary themselves. We can try to make it socially unacceptable for businesses to just outright replace you, but in rare circumstances where the employer is that rotten, the foundation will also cover the cost of the temporary replacement employee, or even provide said employee because we’ll have a bank of people looking for ways to help. If people can afford to donate time without financial assistance, that’s great, too. Those people can either fill in for absent employees or go to the disaster area and help. It could even help with the unemployment situation by making more jobs available, at least temporarily.
We’d have to start from the top down. The first volunteers would have to be high level executives and human resource types who can get this thing running and keep it organized. Ideally, they’ll need to actually donate some time at first until we get the wheels on. Of course we’ll need kickass fundraisers to get some key initial donations so we can get the word out quickly and start getting the money rolling in right off the bat to cover the expenses and start supplementing worker incomes. Eventually, we’d have all levels of workers contributing, from senior management to construction, to people helping someone move into a new home or cleaning the kennels of the displaced animals. And of course, since the jobs are subsidized, it can also be helping the victims help themselves while earning an income doing it.
I’m serious. This could really be the next big charitable organization, the likes of the Red Cross. Now who can put it together or has an idea to help me get it started? I’d just like to see it get done so if someone wants to steal the idea, that would be great, too. In the mean time, I’m going to go back to my daily life which includes golfing and writing about it. I’m sure I’ll still feel pangs of guilt over it, but like I said at the start of this article, I’m not sure I want to strengthen my psyche. I don’t want to not care. Besides, crying can be healing.
Next post (back to the golf already!).