Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gimme some money...Gimme a break!!

Did two things today that cost more than they should: put gas in the car and bought groceries. My DHA-enriched, organic milk is now $4.50 a half gallon, but it may soon be cheaper to fill the car with milk than with gas. Looked longingly at the Blue Bell ice cream for more than $6 a carton. Could have gotten it but I couldn't make myself pick it up. I'm sure I'll be back for it later in the week, but I just couldn't do it today. Picked up a few things and begrudgingly forked over my debit card for $146 worth of not much, sighed, and headed out.

But what was awaiting me when I exited the store? A young man, probably 12 or so, asking for a "donation" because he was trying to raise money for a trip to Disney World. He asked the wrong person, because my immediate reaction was, "Get in line! So are we." I just told him I didn't have any cash. Then, when I got in the car, I had to tell my 8-year-old, "You know, I told him the first thing that came to my mind. I should have thought of something else to say, because I DID have cash. That was not a cause for me to lie, even though I wasn't going to give him anything."

Then, true conservative that she is, she quips,"He needs to get a job and earn his own money, and not try to take ours that you and Daddy work for!" At first I was both proud and amused, and we talked about that a bit. Then, the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. First of all, who dumps a kid at a store to ask for handouts? And then, what happened to trying to EARN money to go somewhere? This may have been a good and legitimate cause -- he didn't offer and I didn't ask -- perhaps a band trip. But I just got myself worked up because some adult in his life thought it would be a good idea for him to stand in public and ask for handouts. What happened to offering to cut the grass, or wash a car, sweep the driveway, or perform any other odd jobs? How can it be beneath someone to do a menial chore for pay but not to ask total strangers for money???

This is just a symptom of the "gimme" mentality that is rotting our nation, contributing to class envy, and encouraging the government to be the nanny for everyone. My family is solidly middle class but we fall into the "evil rich" category according to the socialist liberals. No wonder they're angry; I don't want to give them what I've worked for. I want them to work for their own. If they could channel all their energy from being angry to being productive, they'd have more to show for it, including a sense of pride and responsibility. But that's too hard. Why work when you can stand in the shade with a cold drink and put your hand out? I'll tell you why: Because it's the right thing to do.