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Author Topic: charity  (Read 1361 times)

slidemansailor

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charity
« on: December 06, 2017, 10:24:06 am »

I have been employing an energetic, hard-working young man who has spent at least the last few of his 25 years under a black cloud.  <em>If it weren't for bad luck he would have no luck at all.</em>

He really is a nice guy, very honest ... oh but does not show up about 6 times out of every 7 he promises to ... and only for about half of the time he said he would.  We call this working on "Bitterroot Time", as it seems to be common around here ... along with people who share, give, and surprise us in many cosmic ways.

For reasons I don't know, but suspect prohibition is involved, our young friend iis under the thumb of a tin-pot-dictator parole officer who seems to get his rocks off jerking the chains on his slaves' necks.

During The Great Cleanup of our homestead, we have given him a lot of tools and gear to resell and keep, working off reasonable values in labor.  Even though he is several hundred dollars in debt to us, we pay some cash out to keep him in gasoline, food and such.  He shows up on Bitterroot Time and gets good stuff done when here.

He has made my shop and yard usable, presentable and added some landscape artistry along the way.

I always cringe a little inside when someone else uses my tools. In his life position, he has to if the work is to get done. So I put my little protectionism in a box and sit on it ... even though my life is littered with experiences where gremlins bit my butt through the box tops.

Yesterday I walked up to where he was working turning a downed pine into landscape lumber. I approached where he was using the Stihl chainsaw I recently bought as a replacement for my 35-year-old Stihl that was ready for new bar, chain, tune-up, but otherwise still ticking.  I observed that my shiny-new saw had a chain much looser than I would run it.

The gremlin in my box starts to stir.

"What's the trick to keeping this saw running?"
"I keep adjusting it, but it won't run."

I have four hours on the saw I figured would last the rest of my life.

"You are using THAT gas?"
"That is a 2-stroke engine."
"It HAS TO HAVE oil in its fuel."

I walk away. There is nothing useful I can say.

No way can he pay for the saw.
No way either of us can come out unscathed.

Once again, the gremlins won a round.
I will rebuild my NO TOOLS LOANED box.
It will be unbreakable
for a while.

That was the long way around to saying I have spent the last 15 hours mulling over CHARITY.

Last night I was never-ever having anyone work here for me again.
My old body can do everything my young body could - it just takes five times as long.
Fortunately, I can conjure up patience when I have to.

This morning I am of a mind to let him finish moving the gravel onto our turnaround and pathway.

But I am still pondering how much of me, my stuff, my time, my energy can I afford to keep giving?

Today I am tired. Today I am withdrawing. Today I am pulled back watching the herd do what it will. Today I have boxes built and protective barriers erected.

I have friends who are as generous or more than I. Other of my friends shake their heads when I give what they would never consider, be that time, money, trust or anything.

That long, convoluted tale brings me to the question I want to ask:

What is the proper role of charity?

Healthy society must include some of it, but what are healthy parameters for charity?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:44:43 am by slidemansailor »
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MamaLiberty

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Re: charity
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 10:33:00 am »

So typical these days. I've tried to employ a few here, with very mixed results. Unfortunately, if someone doesn't show up on time, and doesn't finish the job promised... I wouldn't consider them at all "honest." Or "hard working" either.

Broken? Probably. Never taught ethical behavior? Probably. But the requirements for being regarded as "honest" starts with integrity. Period.

Teach him as much as you can. That will be an awesome gift. But trusting him with valuable tools won't work well until he understands that.
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slidemansailor

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Re: charity
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 10:47:07 am »

Sorry, ML, I fat-fingered the keyboard a couple of times, posting my incomplete article twice before I finally got it to say what I wanted to say. 

You were Johnny-on-the-spot replying before I got my question asked.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: charity
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 11:17:46 am »


You were Johnny-on-the-spot replying before I got my question asked.

I'm so, so sorry about your saw. We all make mistakes. :(

A generous and loving person willingly gives of himself, in whatever way seems good to him/her. Always has been so, when it is voluntary of course.  True charity is to teach a man to fish... etc.  But that man must be willing to learn.

What we must cope with these days are the vast herds of people who have been taught all their lives that they are entitled to what others produce, and those who use the theft of that wealth to control and keep the herd worshiping them. And far, far too many people who don't understand that, or think they can - and are entitled to - use the situation to participate in the control and the theft. Too many people use a twisted idea of "charity" as a means to control others - or make themselves feel good in spite of the damage it causes to the recipients.

The desire/compulsion to control the lives and property of others is the ROOT of all evil. Control is at the root of all aggression. I can't say that often enough.
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knobster

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Re: charity
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 11:39:37 am »

Oh that really sucks slideman.  I love my Stihl and would be absolutely horrified if I discovered someone had ruined it like that.  Especially someone who couldn't afford it.

I'm very cautious about loaning tools.  I've been burned (not as bad as you!) a few times and am very, very careful now.

To answer your question, I think ML hit the nail on the head.  Teach a man to fish 'n all that.  I'm teaching my son how to value things.  Making him purchase certain items, showing him how to maintain tools, how to PUT THEM AWAY when done using them (still working on my wife in that area...)
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MamaLiberty

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Re: charity
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 12:36:46 pm »

New blog post at The Price of Liberty inspired by this thread. https://thepriceofliberty.org/2017/12/06/charity-and-responsibility/
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Tahn L.

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Re: charity
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 01:36:40 pm »

Slideman,

Sorry for the loss.

  I loaned out my fairly new Stihl, once. Came back the worse for wear and abuse. Now, I will not loan out anything that is necessary for my survival. Period.

I am "assuming" that you probably thought he was informed of proper operation, both in gas and chain. I have made that mistake, even with a brand new sharpened and set hand saw that I saw someone toss into a metal can. I yelled pretty loud before I realized it was my Daughters new mother in law. She never volunteered to help again, (which was ok).

The error could have been one of lack of instruction in safe usage, so you might consider yourself lucky that it wasn't a foot or eye.

Which brings up a question. Are your gas cans clearly marked for their proper use. I once stopped a friend from pouring kerosene on a fire, to put it out. Because it was in a blue can, he thought it was water. Also, different saws can take a different ratio. Don't ask me how I know.  :rolleyes:

 I bring this up, not as criticism because I am as lax as anyone but as insurance for you and your family, if they ever need to use a container (or tool) and you are not around.

I'm not sure that loaning an essential tool should be under the same category as charity.
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"The lust to control the lives and property of others is the root of all evil". MamaLiberty

slidemansailor

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Re: charity
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 10:22:55 am »

First some good news on my background story: He got the chainsaw running.  I was not home at the time, so I don't know how well, or what the extent of damage is, but perhaps my new Stihl was somehow smart enough to refuse running on straight gasoline.

Back to the Charity topic:

ML's linked essay makes good points.
"... And the poor children who supposedly “need” more toys? I remember the complete clutter in so many homes with children. Broken toys littering the floors, especially the (often individual) bedrooms. One day I watched while two teens gathered broken and discarded toys, books, puzzles and clothing into large plastic bags. To be thrown away because the fire department was bringing them all new stuff from “Toys for Tots.” ... "

In many homes I have seen kids growing up with so many toys that none have value.  That establishes a pattern for disposable everything, including relationships, throughout life.

The answer I came up with when my daughters developed unwillingness to unlitter the floor of their toys:
You have 5 minutes to put everything you value away. I will clean up the rest.
I would then quite quickly and easily fill a cardboard box, seal it and put it in the garage rafters. A few boxes later, the remaining toys were valued, and put away when I asked them to.  Months later, as a reward for something or other, I would let them pick a box to be brought down to disgorge its contents.

Back to ML's point: The charity of giving stuff is questionable, perhaps worse than no giving at all. In my current case, we are giving earning opportunity to a young man, hiring him for more tasks than we would were he not needing the employment so bad, and being a little looser with his creative license than we perhaps ought to be.  A lot of good, valuable tasks are moving off my ToDo list, our homestead is far better established than if he weren't working here, but we have paid for some relatively unimportant things being done, and a few that I will end up re-doing the way I wanted it done (he is young).

The last two categories are, I suppose, what makes us think of this relationship as charitable.

The chainsaw massacre is triggering an end to this session of giving. We will have him finish the gravel moving, then shut down "for the winter", but I don't know how long the winter will be.

The bigger take-away is that we have to put well-defined borders around anything we give to others. Recipients rarely do, therefore donors must.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: charity
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 10:36:38 am »

The bigger take-away is that we have to put well-defined borders around anything we give to others. Recipients rarely do, therefore donors must.

Yes indeed. And it is very interesting to note that doing so is truly "for their own good." LOL Of course, when it's all voluntary there's no problem with that.
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