|The garden--a lot of work!|
|Some good earth with compost added ready for planting.|
|Strawberry plants with some ripening berries.|
|Raggamuffin, the kitty, checking out what's happening in the garden. He follows me around like a dog.|
We are having a 21st birthday party for a member of the fellowship next week. This young lady has worked the steps, is doing service work, and is a great example of Al-Anon. Some of you know her story because you donated to her college fund. The great news is that she has aced her entrance exams and will be starting school in early June. She doesn't currently have enough money to pay for a semester so she will be taking classes while she works. She is determined to be the first from her family to have a professional career. I think that those who know her understand her determination to succeed.
I have heard it stated over and over in Al-Anon that the groups and people need to be self-supporting through their own contributions (Tradition Seven). I know that this came about so that groups wouldn't ask for outside contributions and that alcoholics would not be enabled through family and friends giving them money. What if someone is really deserving and needs a little help? I see no problem with helping someone out who is in need. And I don't expect to be repaid. I have a philosophy about money that it is to be used for comfortable living and if one has enough, then it is to be shared to help others. Philanthropy is a great thing, because even small amounts can help others.
I know people who hoard their money, keeping account of every dime. Most of these people are elderly and quite a few are millionaires. I imagine they are hoarding to give to their children because they don't appear to be spending it on themselves. Somehow I like the old bumper sticker that said "I'm spending my children's inheritance."
I remember how my parents saved their money. I learned from them to be cautious about spending. I didn't worship money but had concerns about how to pay bills and to be self-supporting. It took a few arguments and some deep soul searching with my wife to get over being afraid to spend money. She taught me to be generous. I didn't realize that generosity was uplifting to the spirit. Relaxing my grip on the household finances was an important part of recovery for me. And a huge stress reducer.
I don't plan to die a wealthy person. But if my some strange coincidence I do, then a fellowship has been set up to help out Ph.D. students who are in need of funding at one of our alma maters. One way of giving back. There are many other ways to help out those in need. It's important in so many ways.