This afternoon I’m starting my next series called “Ruminating with the Ruminants: Conversations with the Cows.” I’ve been chewing my cud for the last 4 weeks on the notion of charity and philanthropy.
I’ve been going to various summer fundraisers and appreciation picnics. Here in beautiful Big Sky country with its rivers running through it, the summer residents have arrived. Summer is the perfect time for community groups to invite these people to partake in the community by giving them an opportunity to rub elbows with the locals and to contribute monetarily to the various non-profits that vie for scarce dollars in a county that has only 3500 people in it and is the size of the state of Rhode Island.
I often sigh a lot when I’m eating my plate full of food at these affairs. By and large, the people that run these organizations and those that sit on their boards are dedicated and goodhearted folks. The reason that I sigh is that I wish we didn’t need these charities. I wish everyone made a living wage so we didn’t have to help people get decent food to eat. I wish everyone made a decent living with short work hours and work weeks so that they could spend time with their kids instead of having after school volunteers take care of them. If we had free college education, we wouldn’t need to have fundraisers for scholarships or to buy a kid a tuba. If we banned chemicals and other crap from our crops and our cows, we wouldn’t need as many cancer care groups. If we really embraced community, we would take care of our retirees and respect their wisdom and reward their work years with decent pensions. In a my wishful world, everybody would be at the picnic because everything would be done in mutual support of each other. There would be no classes of the haves and have nots.