reaching out...

From: john grigg (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2000 - 02:54:26 MST

Robert Bradbury wrote:
I walked past a woman in the metro tonight. She had one young child standing
beside her and another infant in her arms. The arm holding the infants head
ended in an outstretched palm. At the end of the passage was a seemingly
talented flutist playing not sad, but not happy tunes. I noticed a 10 ruble
(~$.30) note in his flute case. Whom should I have helped -- both, neither?
I really don't know anymore.

Gina Miller wrote:
If it doesn't break your bank, both. My childhood, was full of hardships,
and although, I live quite the opposite spectrum now, I will never forget:
genuine need. Now I have a sponsored child, retrieved a dog from the humane
society, things that keep me earthbound, and true to all facets of myself.

Robert Owen wrote:
That is part of what I wanted to say to Robert in reply to the same post,
Gina. It is all, as you, suggest, full of para-dox and ambivalence. But it
is Robert's final sentence that for me was so full of pathos. I really want
to know why it is we don't know? Thank you for bringing your resolution to
my attention,

I can understand how a person could suffer from compassion fatigue in a
society as troubled as Russia is at present. Even in an American city this
can be a common problem. Like Gina, if I could afford to at that time I
would try to help both even if only with small amounts of money. Of course
that could be more to assuage a troubled conscience then to really turn
around their lives. If I had to choose between them I would help the mother
with two children. Of course we know the sociological reasons for a choice
like this.

I admire Gina for sponsoring a child. Even as a poor college student I
could scrape the money ($20 a month) together to do it if I were really
intent on making a difference. I have read how such programs over the
longterm hurt poor nations in that they add to overpopulation and its
adverse affects.

But thinking of "population die-off" in regards to human children gives me
chills. The children that "are here" must not when at all possible suffer
the fate so many do from disease, malnutrition and lack of education. If
only these poor nations got the resources to provide adequate birth control,
education and employment.

Far less important then a child but still a life, is a scruffy alley cat
that lives in my retired parents neighborhood. Alaska in the winter is not
a good place for cats living on their own. Every night my folks feed this
feline who knows to wait outside in the evening. They even have to watch
over him as he eats because local foxes got in the habit of stealing his
food. It's only a cat but my folks get a good feeling from looking out for
him and he gets a needed calories to not freeze to death.

I was impressed when Max More put forward the idea of having extro members
give to the microloan program that aids third world people. We can't save
everyone but we can each do something.


John Grigg

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