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Not Relying On The Kindness Of Strangers

February 28, 2022

Shaq recently bought a Ford F-150 and donated it to a worthy family. It’s not unusual for the former NBA player. He does that often. He tries to share the incredible wealth that he’s earned. He feels it’s his responsibility.

Pretty great deal, right? A free $50,000 truck. Don’t you kind of wish it was you?

I thought about that last week when I was reading the story of his largess.

And I decided I wouldn’t want it.

Oh sure, it’s a nice truck. Best truck I ever owned was a 1978 F250. Who wouldn’t want a new truck?

But, I thought about what the truck was for. Shaq is trying to help people who need it. Do I need a new truck? No. No, I don’t. If it meant keeping a truck from a deserving family, a truck that I don’t need, would I want to do that?

No, I want to help those less fortunate, not take away a benefit that would make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Several years ago, a family that I know had an unfortunate house fire. The fire department put the fire out quickly and fortunately no one was hurt. The house needed some remodeling, of course. But, that’s where the problems started.

The house was very large. And over the years, the previous owner had made many improvements and additions. None of which were according to code. The cost of repairs had to include bringing everything up to code. It was more than the family could afford

This family was a large family and many of the children were adopted from all over the world. They were not unlike our own family. Although they had more children than our 13.

The community rallied behind the family. A local television company organized a home makeover. Not just home repairs, but improvements. Their large lot was landscaped. Furniture stores donated new furnishings for the entire house. It was a major undertaking. The big reveal was carried live on television.

My family at the time was renting a house. Not many years later we ended up homeless for a time living in my brother-in-law’s barn, my lovely wife, myself and 12 kids. We didn’t get our house made over because we didn’t have a house. I’ve often thought about the blessing it was for our friends that they had a chance to save their home.

But, I couldn’t help but think about my own family’s situation. Would I have liked a new home? Of course. But, would I really? Even if it didn’t mean denying my friends a new house. But, in general, would I want a new house? An upgraded house?

Why?

My house fits me and my family. I don’t need a new house.

Did you know that most lottery winners, the big ones, are broke in less than 5 years? And the ones who won really big typically regret their winning. It destroys their lives.

I won a radio contest once. I think you had to call in and sing a song or something. Anyway, I won some book. It was around Christmas time. The radio station was giving boxes of food to the less fortunate.

Why don’t you put the book into one of the Christmas boxes. They can use it more than I can.

There have been times when my children were fed solely by the kindness of strangers. And I was grateful for the food and the help. But, I’ve also had times when all my needs were met. In that condition how could I take that generosity? Simply to make my life a little easier?

No. There are times I’d rather not rely on the kindness of strangers. Let someone else have the blessings.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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(c) 2022 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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