I decided to tap into my emergency/savings fund this weekend, and will probably redirect a percentage of future funds as well. Though my previous uses for it was really considered a fund source for when unexpected events arise, I don’t think I’ve truly spent it on a true emergency (yet) as I did when I donated to help the recent typhoon victims. Using the funds for tires on my car pales in comparison to the utter devastation this typhoon has left these victims. Not having access to food, shelter, and basic necessities for days – this is an emergency. Looters arising from feeling hungry and hopeless that turns into rage – this is an emergency. People not knowing where their loved ones are – this is an emergency.
Thankfully, I am beyond grateful to hear that my loved ones back home are okay and haven’t been impacted. But reading all the accounts and watching news clips have left me so mournful to those that were deeply affected. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for my loved one to lose my grasp as the water carried them away from me, nor what it’s like now with all the debris and destruction left everywhere. Images are being shown all over news stations that I feel are pretty graphic, and it’s heart-breaking to imagine that little ones are seeing decaying corpses out on the street in real life.
I admit, I have a hard time with contributing. I tend to be cynical and mistrusting when donating to organizations (though I do realize there’s some legit ones out there), and I’m not too fond of the corrupt stuff that happens in the PI. But if even a portion of the contribution goes towards feeding a couple of kids or giving medicine to the sick or elderly or helps rebuild people’s lives, then it’s money well spent.
There’s at times all these thoughts that arise about how I frivolously spend, and how shameful that is since it could have been redirected to giving more – it’s happened during previous natural disasters, from Katrina to the tsunami in Japan to the earthquake in Haiti. But that’s not productive, and as soon as it appears it’s time to refocus. Because at the end of the day, I do realize I have an abundance of good fortune when relating it on a macroscopic/global level. Despite this debt hanging over me and all these budget preparations for getting a “forever” house or raising kids, I’m still in a good and fortunate position to give what I can, whenever I can. And beyond the monetary help, I just want to help those that might feel helpless, even if it’s just a minor token of support or prayer. People who are used to tithing make this seem so natural, but for me it (admittedly) takes some work. It’s a work in progress, but one that I personally feel it’s important to work on.
And as with anything, these are just my own thoughts and viewpoints. I felt inclined to put that disclaimer on since this seems kind of preachy, but I don’t intend it to be so.