At the risk of losing friends, this came out of me this morning. I had no idea what was going to come out. It was this. Know that it's not about you. It's about … well, read it.
It’s My Birthday! Donate.
My friends have celebrated a lot of birthdays lately and, on Facebook, that suddenly means everyone is asking you to donate to their favorite charity.
The charities are all worthy of donation ... and yet ... I’m wondering if we haven’t gone too far with asking for money. This is not about our friends. This is not judging our friends. Let me make that clear.
It’s about being conditioned to believe that, with all the money each of us pays into our government(s), little of that money goes to support the things that we believe are worth supporting.
We’re living with the barest, basic necessities and getting further and further in debt just trying to stay afloat. It’s like a family that just about pays the bills each month, getting those phone calls that ask you to donate just $10 to a cause after you’ve told them you have no money to donate. Well, it’s just $10 ... listen, if I had $10, I’d be fixing the sink right now. What about that don’t you get, telemarketer??
We are a global family in debt. Spending on things that may keep the government going but doing a lousy job keeping the country or the people going.
How do we define a financial ‘luxury’ in this dichotomy of culture we live in? No matter who your bank account says you are, these luxuries seem to be disease, recovery, disaster relief, saving the forests and animals, the Arts, women, food, water and other natural resources, kids, seniors, education ... wait a minute. Read that list again. Aren’t these things part of the necessities of life; the things we’ve worked so hard for?
Shouldn’t these things be included in what we contribute to our governments’ budgets with spending planned to meet the needs of all of them? I’m not asking the government to hold a lemonade sale or a car wash. I’m asking the government to explore its own budget to understand where the money that citizens pay into the government goes. Isn’t that what a personal financial planner would do for you?
Oh, maybe it’s your salaries? There’s a starting point. If you’re making more than me, and, as a citizen, I’m being asked to donate to the necessities of life in addition to what I pay in taxes, maybe that’s the problem? Need time to think about that, do you? Go right ahead. I’ll wait.
Budgets are scary and, in the end, they’re easy:
• Gather your financial records
• Record sources of income
• Report on all expenses
• Notice where the gaps are
• Break expenses into 2 categories: fixed and variable
• Adjust expenses
• Keep reviewing your budget
Here’s the place to look: “Break expenses into 2 categories: fixed and variable.” We’ve lost sight of our values in preparing our global budgets. If a government believes everyone – and I mean everyone – should have enough to eat, then feeding that nation’s population needs to be in the budget. And not just Rice Krispy treats; real food. Maybe you cut back on military parades and giant, fucking walls because people are starving. That’s like a family saying to their kids, you can go hungry another week or two because Mommy and I really want that jet ski. Right.
If the planet needs renewable resources, help existing businesses transition rather than promise them that they’ll see a comeback; like coal. We’re all eager to go down into the mines again, right, and start pumping that dirty black shit into the atmosphere? Raise your hand if you can hardly wait.
Governments can do more to help new businesses that want to offer renewable resources start up. It’s like a family saying they’re going to keep buying the popular, sugared cereal with the weed-killing chemicals and metal fragments and a bunny that makes eye contact (no joke. It’s a marketing technique.) with your kids because it’s cheaper and down the first aisle they come to at the food store. Walk a little farther. See the future in your children.
Now, all this makes sense when you care about the future; when you care about the next generation or future generations. But we live in a hand-to-mouth world because our governments are greedy, fearful and without a roadmap of the values of the country in which they govern.
Not their fault. Not blaming. We are living in the age of consequence, created by those who did not understand. We can no longer afford those ‘who do not understand’. A variable expense. Our future is at stake.
So, getting back to birthdays, Facebook and donations. When I can I will donate to your birthday because we’re not living in the age of understanding yet and all these causes are worthy. When I don’t donate, please know that if I had $10, I’d be fixing the sink right now.
Peace, love, and light to you for reading this far, and especially to those who didn’t.
- Linda Lombardo, 8.24.18
PS - When I posted this on Facebook, guess what came up?!! Add a Donate Button. Add a donate button to your post to raise money for a nonprofit, and we'll take care of the donation processing with no fees. Select Nonprofit. OMG.