They say it takes a village to raise a child. In reality, it is a community of people that helps in the development of an individual. I expand on that statement and say it takes the world to raise nations. The idea of support is not a new one but what does that mean, what does it take to support someone or something?
Even in the beginning roles of people within families and within communities have always been divided. The men went out to hunt and protect while the women took care of the children and gathered items to build a home. The children would also do their part of supporting the family they would have chores helping either parent. To be a family has always be a collective of interweaving of abilities in order to, at its very basic level, survive. Each family in turn surviving was a part of a greater effort, a community, which in turn was a part of a village and the village was a part of a kingdom. This is nothing new all throughout history we have had societies with micro societies who have had even smaller societies.
When supporting someone in their community often people will purchase something or donate items to a local organization. This organization however may qualify as a tax-exempt charity or foundation or it may be that you give a little extra to your child’s little league team. However you support, most people doing it locally find it more beneficial because they see where their dollar or time is going. On the other hand, what makes a charity or a foundation according to my research is mostly defined through its ability to qualify under tax exemption status based on the percentage of contributions it receives and that it benefits communities or the environment (including animals). Though there is nothing out there that doesn’t say how beneficial to the community it should be.
We have all heard that when donating to a charity you have to ask or should try to figure out how much of each dollar actually goes to the cause it is trying to benefit or if most of it goes to operating costs rather than the people or things it intends to benefit. For example, a qualifying charity under the law by obtaining a certain number of donations, uses the majority of those donations to go to the mailing costs of getting donations should both the charity receive tax exempt status and the giver receive tax deductions when the dollar just went to pushing paper. There has to be something somewhere that states, if you are a charity or a foundation a certain percentage of the money should go to helping the cause it is intended to help. I think this would eliminate bad charities right from the beginning because you know that organization cannot exceed so much per dollar of operational costs. There is a little regulation in regards for this as charities cannot provide personal interest support and it has to pay its employees a reasonable salary with out bonuses or dividends. However yet there are many charities out there of which their services are really providing a business rather than supporting the environment or people.
This has been a big deterrent for people wanting to help others by giving their time or money to charities. People know there are so many charities doing the same thing or are intended to complete the same task but little is being done to help those who need. To the average person to hear there are over a million charitable organizations, within United States alone, making it a trillion dollar industry according to the Present Law and Background Relating to the Federal Tax Treatment of Charitable Contributions and it is still not enough. As a result most people live in with our feet glued to the ground as we are starting to not want to fund organizations because we are not sure they are actually benefiting and we don’t want to give to the homeless person on the street because we don’t know how they are going to use that money. What are left are our own volunteer hours but wait that isn’t recognized either under federal law as a donation, so some organizations do not take volunteers. Why can’t a company deduct the salary of an employee whose soul purpose is to volunteer for charities or foundations as a representative of the company? Wouldn’t that be better than just a big check? Or maybe a person who is retired get a tax break because to keep active they volunteered so many hours a week. Make the act of supporting our community by being personally present and aware of what is going on in our communities. We want to help our communities, provide the support they need, though we as a society are frustrated with where our time and money goes giving us another reason to be apathetic when issues arise.
Reading all this information I still say to give community your time, your abilities to help out where you can. How do I know this, I don’t claim to know much of anything but I do know that every story in which I have heard of a family suffering such as going through a hard time like the great depression or a war but also working towards living everyday. I remember hearing stories about barn raisings in rural pioneer communities. Everyone participated everyone was able to have a barn; everyone was a part of the community because they all shared in the task. No one came out profiting from another’s work only they each received the barn they needed in order to survive nothing more nothing less.
In the past without technology we weren’t dependent on other countries for our economy our survival. It is very apparent we live in a world where each country is dependent on several others combined economy so that local community has expanded to all the continents. No matter where you go I hear people worried about money, who wouldn’t be, it is a huge support to our way of life. However, that is not what makes this world run. I realize that this point could be hotly debated. It is the nature vs. nurture combined with what came first the chicken or the egg. The answer may not be clear to most.
For me I go back to the great depression, it was the programs that said lets put people to work, no matter what, that began to be a support, the rue for a good gumbo. We acknowledged and didn’t judge when the only job a person had was to turn over bricks in the street for the government. It was a job, a way of providing a living for themselves and supporting the community simultaneously. It worked, they have a job, they are making money they are productive members of society. Move ahead a few years and when the world was at war everyone helped, women left the traditional roles as housewife and became Rosie the Riveter. We survived because we all supported a cause and that cause was to live.
The thing I see about successful companies is that everyone feels supported and valued. I think I read somewhere that Jim Henson thought that no idea was a bad idea as a result he and his coworkers always had choices but more important they always felt heard, listened to, most of all respected in their roles in the business community he created.
On several occasions I have read or have seen people work together for what ever reason and are able to fill roles when and where needed. Sure they all had their main role but if necessary they would step into another role. I chose the words step into and not up for a specific reason, I say it because to think of yourself as a superior being is to think you are better than others, we regard some of the most important people in the world not because they were superior to us but because they were humble enough to say I am one of you. Nelson Mandela went to jail because he maintained there were no black people, no white people just people. He didn’t care if you had or were the most influential person on the planet he cared about what are you doing to help the living conditions of all the people in his country or even the world.
I never really spent much time with my dad, but the one thing I will always remember whether true or not is that he one day met John Wayne. He was walking by his boat and started a conversation with “that’s a nice boat you have there….” And went on to have a discussion about boats with John Wayne. My dad continued to talk about how just from that initial conversation that he was invited onto John Wayne’s boat. Not because he treated The Duke like a star but because he treated him like a regular person. When he finished telling this story he said “the greatest advice my dad, your grandfather, ever gave me is that you treat everyone the same as if they are equal to you if not better than you.”
I think often about that and I think about what it means to really support someone, a community, the world. The only conclusion I can come up with is in order to support someone, you have to give them opportunities, chances to do what they need to be productive themselves. Every persons’ means of survival is different, that means how you give is going to be different. Just know what you are supporting whether it is giving towards mostly operational costs or it is actually benefiting those in need.