Day 26: Charity and Religion don’t Always Mix

This post is probably going to upset many people.  I don’t care.  This are my observations of the last 40 years.  If I did not see the same example repeat itself time after time, I would not be writing about it.  I am not speaking of any person in particular.  I am referring to Christians in general and donations of all kinds.  There is a disconnect with people that is frustrating and sometimes painful.

When I was young, we used to get a box of chocolates to sell for charity.  Yes, the truth was that most of the time I would eat half of the box and would end up volunteering for a second box out of guilt…and probably eat five of the 20 bars of that one as well.  What can I say, I’m a chocoholic!

I was surrounded by all kinds of people from all kinds of religions that lived in my neighborhood.  Some of them were more than happy to buy chocolate from me.  Ironically, the ones that claimed to be very religious, volunteering tons of hours at church and belonging to several church initiatives, would usually buy none.  My favorite was the “come back later so I can buy a couple” and then they would leave and accidentally forget all about it.

I’ve always loved to donate.  I strongly believe that whatever you do will come back in spades.  That does not mean that it will come back as the same thing.  If I donate $10 today, I am not expecting $10 next week.  It is the sense of doing something nice for someone else that feels me with joy and I think that is visible and people are drawn to that kind of energy.

I have been on the receiving end as well.  There is a place here called Harvest Time International that gave me food when we almost went broke in 2012.  Needless to say, when I got my job in May of the same year, I made a donation to them, just in case I never had money again (that way I felt like I paid them back and covered a couple of more people in my situation).

With the internet, other avenues of charity have opened up.  You have crowdsourcing sites where you can help people like me pursue their dreams.  There are exercise events that help raise awareness for different causes.  And this is where this dichotomy between religion and charity is coming back to hunt me.

I don’t care what you believe.  I have friends who are Catholic, Buddhist, Agnostic and/ or atheists.  I love them all and I respect their opinions.  All I ask is that they respect my decision to not believe in any organized religion.  I do believe in God and I do things my way.  I don’t believe in making a mega church richer, I do believe in donating to those causes that are near and dear to my heart.

For the next two months I have several events that include Cerebral Palsy the entire month of September and Alzheimer’s awareness one day in October.  I share the post online as many times as I can.  What is the result?  None.  All these people that spend hours posting about their faith in God and “Give me an Amen if you believe in Jesus” are silent in the face of actual need.  If you don’t have $5, I can understand.  But these same people then go on to post all the nights they go out to dinner, instead of eating home and all the trips they go to.  I’m asking you for the price of a Pumpkin Spice Latte and you are telling me you are broke, while posting a picture of your Latte.  Whatever happened to helping your neighbor?

Even more offensive is the fact that they wont even share the posts to get others to donate, even if it is just $5.  Some of the people I know through social media have a lot of money.  Others don’t even know where their next meal is coming from.  I do find it ironic that I am thinking about someone right now who has more burdens than anyone I know and she will be the one that will share my posts with everyone she knows in the hopes that somebody will donate.  Her annual income at this particular moment?  $0.  And by the way, she is a Christian, so this is not shade on religious people.

If this article bothers you, maybe it is because you see yourself reflected in it.  If you are one of those people that is always talking about God and never donating to anyone, you are not serving His purpose.  If you think that donating to your church is the only way to tithe, you are completely incorrect.  If your pastor says that if you don’t give exactly 10% of your income before taxes, you cannot belong to that church, you are better off at a different church.

It is time that you stop following blindly and start using your head.  I’m not asking for much, neither are my friends.  I have a friend who is trying to save his daughter’s life, one dollar at a time.  He needs $100,000 to take her up north for treatment.  It has taken him two weeks to collect $6K.  Why?  He is surrounded by deeply religious people who are indifferent to his plight.  Why?  When did we become so jaded that helping our community became a burden or a photo op instead of the opportunity to do some good and feel that joy inside.

I have some friends that donate their energy and their time helping at their church or going on missionary journeys.  I’m not talking about those people.  And yet I know, most of them will give to the charity of their choice.  The problem is not them, the problem is the rest of us.  Those who call themselves Christians would be surprised if I told them how much atheists and agnostics donate every day to thousands of charities.  And by the way, don’t give me the excuse that most people in Gofundme.com are frauds.  They might be.  Jesus said to do good and not look at who.  It is a good motto.  If you donate from the heart, you did your part.  If you want to make sure, investigate before you donate.

Now I know I am ranting.  I’m very upset.  All I want is to be able to donate to my favorite charities and make the money necessary to publish my book (maybe even for free if I get enough donations).  Most of the charities I donate to are not about me.  All of them are good causes, many of them have been highlighted in this article (every underlined word is a link to a charity event).  Whether you believe in God, Ala or any other belief or you don’t believe in anything at all, you can chose to donate to one of these, share the campaigns so others can donate, or donate to causes of your own.  I don’t expect you to publish it like you do your church, although I believe you should.  We should share every charity we help in order to get more people to donate to them.

Sometimes a dollar is a lot.  Share the abundance.  You will not be sorry.

Have a charity you want us to know about?  Leave the link below.  If it is a crowdsourcing campaign, please verify that it is legit before you send it our way.  Thanks.  Share this post with your friends.  Thanks for that too.

 

Metamorphosis – 7th Day

Well, I had my first stumble.  I got up again and here I am.  I decided that since chronologically speaking, it is day 10, but I did not blog or made a video in a few days, it was only right to go ahead and start the countdown on the last day I blogged.  That was day 6.

So it was a weekend of craziness for those who decided to go shopping and today, we can give money guilt free.  We have #GivingTuesday for all those charities and projects that are needing us to donate.  I actually have a project – gofundme page and a donation request from all of you.  I hope you stop by and help us make the dream come true.

As far as the video is concerned, I do apologize for the quality.  I was in a hurry to get it to air and I was not in the best place to film.  I was running errands and parked the car at a local more to film.  The sound is not great either but the heart is.  DONATE to me, to anyone you want to donate to, just make sure you donate and make the holidays a little better for someone in need.

That is all for today.  Leave your comments below and have a great day.  See you mañana.

We’ve All Being There

Me walking
The Start of the Journey

Today is one of those days when I unburden my soul, no matter what anyone thinks about it.  The last six months have been a test and I don’t know why would I need to be tested.  People get sad, they feel anxiety, they feel cornered and alone, and bad news just aggravate those things.  We’ve all being there and yet we all act so perfect and capable.  Ignoring feelings or pushing pills or drugs or alcohol does not make the pain go away.  Those behaviors just add more trouble.

I am what the experts call, clinically depressed, I guess.  I ask you, if your partner of 27 years gets diagnosed with cancer at the same time as your dad, while your mom is also showing signs of forgetfulness, would you feel happy?  I doubt it.  The thing is, I tend to be one of those people who keeps on moving until I break.  That does not make me stronger, that just makes me stupid.  And before you think I should not criticize myself, I am not name calling, I am being realistic.

Life is too short.  One minute you are here and the next one you are gone.  It does not matter if a person gets hit by a truck and dies instantly or if they linger in a coma for months and then move on.  The actual act of dying takes a second and so does the act of breathing for the first time.  The length of the journey in between the first breath and your last could be 10 years or 100.  In terms of how long the Earth has been here, it is just a very short journey.

Because life is too short, I decided I did not want to spend however long I have, been politically correct or proper with everything and everyone.  I don’t believe in breaking the laws.  I don’t steal, I don’t cheat people out of their money, I am not interested in owning a gun or shooting one.  I do want to stop coloring inside the lines.

I have always believed that every person has a right to be themselves and do what makes them happy.  And yet, somewhere between my 21st birthday and my 48th birthday, I followed the rules and did everything I did not believe in.  It did not make me happy, it brought up many feelings of inadequacy and it drove me nuts.  I am done playing nice.

So, what does that mean.  In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let my family and my friends know that I have every intention of telling my truth.  If you are embarrassed to have a nut job for a friend or family member, you can always say you don’t know me.  I don’t care if it embarrasses you, I care that I have probably caused half of my mental issues by trying to conform to your version of me and that has to stop.

The second thing this means is that I have no intention of purposely putting you on a spot.  Your name will not come into my page unless you say it.  I don’t have anything bad to say about my friends or family.  They are who they are and they have to stand on their truth at some point.

The third thing this means is that this is a bully free zone.  I have been bullied all my life.  From the first time some idiot called me a witch, to when I was in my teens and started dating a guy that was the property of some girl (in her head because they had broken up years before I even met them), to the time a boss decided that she was insecure and planned to destroy my career because she did not want to be discovered as the fraud she was.  All these people and many more haunted my dreams for a very long time.  I forgive those I mentioned and the many more that I did not mention in this paragraph.  Insecurity and ignorance is something that makes people do stupid things.  Unfortunately your insecurity made a hole in my heart that made me want to conform, to be normal.  That was my mistake and I cannot blame you for having that much power over me.  I gave you that much power and now I am taking it back.  Bye Philicias.

This is not a democracy.  This is my kingdom.  Therefore, if I ever read or see something I don’t like, I am going to delete you.  I will, from now on, delete you from my pages and my life if you act like an idiot.  I have absolutely no problem with people disagreeing with me.  But I do not want some person saying “for the sake of honesty” and then proceed to insult anyone on my pages, be it here, on Facebook or anywhere else.  I am not your punching bag and none of my friends are.  You can then say that I am censoring what you can say.  That would be incorrect.  I am curtailing how you say it.  If you tell me that you think I am wrong and then proceed to tell me why, that is an opinion that can be debated.  You telling me that I am a moron is insulting and not debatable.  I’m not a moron but in your world I guess I would be, therefore, not debatable.  So, offend me or anyone on my pages and you will be deleted and blocked.

I don’t have time to entertain trolls and bullies.  I also don’t have time to entertain lies.  If you would like to know more about what makes us tick, stick around.  While you wait, leave a comment below with what stage of the journey you are in.  Are you still hiding behind what people want you to be or are you playing the game for yourself?  Leave your comment below and stop by our Gofundme campaign to donate $5.  This will help us continue this journey the way we want to.  Thanks.