I read this story and loved it because I really believe that charity truly is one of the most important virtues that one can have. We have friends that are out of work and we ourselves have been down that road on more than one occasion. It is such a hard place to be, but like this story we are reminded that we aren't the only ones going through tough times. When you share your load with others and theirs with you, life seems to get a bit easier to handle.
I hope we can know our neighbors and friends well enough to be able to be there for them, if they need us. I think that is what life is all about. Enjoy this story and remember we need not be alone in our struggles.
Good Old-Fashioned Sharing From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People
It wasn't that I was embarrassed my husband was out of work. The situation was what it was. It's just that we are private people and don't share our problems easily with others. So when he lost his job, we just acted like nothing had changed and no one seemed to notice.
It didn't take too long, maybe two weeks, and my kids' friends noticed that Kyle's dad was home a lot more. When asked about it, I told my good friend and neighbor, Tammy, we were out of work and looking. She then told me that her husband had been applying for graveyard shifts all over town because his company was going under. I was shocked! We were constantly doing things together and I hadn't a clue they were struggling.
I didn't feel like we were the only ones going through this anymore. I always knew that others were struggling with the economy in a downturn, but now I had a comrade to share my woes with.
Knowing what they were going through, I wanted to help them, even though we didn't have much ourselves. So, I became the reconnaissance shopper. I scour the coupons and ads, and match things up to pay half-price for many items. I call Tammy when I get done with my planning session and offer to pick up things for her at the discounted price. It seems like our money goes even farther because we are willing to share.
It goes the other way too. Tammy and her husband have given us enough wood to heat our home this winter. They have the tools to cut firewood and they did extra for us. It has been a huge help to reduce our gas bill to almost nothing.
There are other examples of helping each other. I taught Tammy how to make bread and rolls; she watches my kids when I go to job interviews; I make dessert for Tammy's family party; she drives my kid to the bus stop in a snow storm… and the list goes on.
I don't have much to give but I can give of myself. I can have charity, love, and hope in my heart, and the more I give those away, the more I get them back.
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?" ~ Rabbi Hillel
"He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own." ~ Confucius
"Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows." ~ Moliere