Monday, January 25, 2010

How Much Suffering is Too Much?

I have a very low tolerance for seeing people and animals pain. I am such a sucker for the down and out. I crumble under the tears and filth of the homeless. I once gave 75 cents to a homeless guy who had a sign that read “Homeless and Need a Beer, Aint that the Truth!” If I were homeless I’d sure want to be drunk or high too. But how much suffering do we really need to see and hear about?

Have you ever seen the commercials for the Christian Children’s Fund with the poor kids living in squalor? Their bellies are distended; they have flies swarming around their faces and dirty clothes on? They had me at shoeless. I can’t bear to watch the videos, just tell me where to send my check. The commercials must have gotten to my mom to cause she adopted a sponsor child years ago. When she passed away my sister took over the care of him. And now my sister has been sponsoring this boy for so long that he is ready for a retirement home….or a retirement hut as the case may be in Kenya. I sponsor a little girl in Uganda.

Don’t even get me started on the ASPCA commercials for the abused and neglected dogs and cats. Ya know the ones with the starving dogs with their ribs showing and missing patches of fur. The ones with the one eyed cat and mangy mutts. Did you see the part when the kitten reaches through the bars of the cage as if he is reaching out to say “Help me! Please tell me the numbers to your bank account so I can drain it” And if the pictures weren’t bad enough they have Sarah McLaughlin singing about how they’re in “The Arms of the Angels.” Heck, I’ll be your angel little puppies! I want to take all of them home and nurse them back to health right in my own living room. Hold on tight, I’m coming to get your out of there! Those nasty people won’t hurt you ever again. How much do I send? God just make the commercial stop! I have several collage roommates that can attest to the fact that I have taken in strays and lost all reasonable sanity in the process because I smelled a tiny wafting of their suffering and had to step in.

And what about the people in Haiti? My heart just breaks for them. So much death and destruction is just unimaginable. These poor people were well, so darn poor to start with before the earthquake. The news said that 600, 000 people were now homeless. But I have a feeling that the majority of them were homeless before the earthquake too. So I probably would have given money to them before the quake. I’ve seen the video of the people being pulled from the ruble and I just want to offer them a smoothie and cool shower. Some guy drank his own piss for 10 days! Holy crap! Give that man some mouthwash, a gift card to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse and a Tetanus shot! And the kids, the poor children. I have been this close to investigating getting’ me a Haitian orphan too. I went so far as to ask my hubby if he would want a boy or girl. Girl it is. But I really could have done without seeing the dead bodies in a garbage pile on Dateline. They just went too far with that.

And last but not least I have to call your attention to a book that I was given for my birthday by my oldest sister. It’s called “Half the Sky.” It’s about turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. I’m all about liberating women but I can’t stomach reading one more page of this book. It goes into great detail about rape, prostitution and human trafficking that is taking place in India, Asia and the Middle East. It is horrific and trust me I was on board with helping to create change on page one. There is no need for me to read 13 more chapters on this topic. They should have just put the title of the book and an 800 number for me to call with my credit card information on the cover. That’s enough. I’m having nightmares of these poor girls from the stories that I read.

UPDATE: I have an email from the Humane Society in my in box titled “Animals in Haiti Need Your Help”…a double whammy and I’m not opening it because I’m sure their will be pictures attached to it.

1 comment:

MsShellhorn said...

You know me, I generally don't help people, but I'm big animal advocate. (Although human homelessness gets to my heart.)
Anyway, there is only so much money you can give. Sometimes I turn the Sara McLaughlin commercial off - (sometimes I try to get the dogs to watch it when I feel they don't appreciate what they have.) Give what you can and help when you see it right in front of you.
Where did you get that picture of the puppy?? It's KILLING ME!! Where do I send my check?