Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Obama's Book

In his book, Obama tells about a lesson learned from his stepfather, Lolo. The young boy that is now a man was living in Indonesia at the time. The number of beggars was extreme and Obama talks about a change in his mother, Stanley Ann (Streamer). Upon arriving in the country she gave to all that asked. Due to sheer numbers, she later "gave more selectively, learning to calibrate the levels of misery". That reminds me of me in my old homed days, budgeting a portion of my pay to give to panhandlers. Doled out more of on a "first come first served" basis. Becoming homeless, of course, got me to realize why there were so many beggars in the downtown area. But back to Obama's book.

Lolo thought his wife's "moral calculations endearing, but silly". When he caught the young Barack reaching in his pocket following his mother's lead to help the homeless beggers Lolo asked him: "How much money do you have?".

"Thirty rupiah." That reminded me, too of my homed days and my nephew's wife. Rupiah. She would try to explain ten US dollars was like 100 rupiah. Miss those days. Back to the Lolo/Barack conversation.

Lolo asks "How many beggars are there on the street?" and then says, "You see?" (clear that Obama could not guess at the numbers knocking on their door for help) and continued: "Better to save your money and make sure you don't end up on the street yourself."

Thinking back to all that money I could have saved by just saying no to panhandlers, I also think back to all the homeless people that helped me through a day. Some, like Mama D, remembered my generosity to her in my homed days and her help was invaluable when I wound up on the streets right next to her.

My old saw was: "Generosity is never wasted". After JS, and yes, even the Indonesian niece and others, it became "Generosity is always wasted".

Would be nice if Donald Trump, Niel and the rest of the Bush/Cheney clan had that same generosity of spirit as "Stanley Ann" instead of their selfish greed and corrupt ways that pushes others into poverty. Indonesia then was much like Dubai today. Read that the "media spin" wants to make Obama appear tailor made to lead a diverse nation. Nah. He was tailor made. Read "Dreams from My Father" is you do not believe me.

from gypsywoman blog

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