Monday, August 20, 2012

189th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Blame it on the Refrigerator
When everyone’s food went bad, we were a little nicer to each other.

A Google search for “Ayn Rand philosophy in a nutshell” turned up a great article by Jesse Larner called The Sinister Folly of Ayn Rand. And I only had to read five paragraphs into it to get the condensed version I needed … and could tolerate.

Mr. Larner wrote,”In her insistence that she owed nothing to the state, nothing to any human being other than herself, Rand epitomized the kind of childishness shown by libertarians who insist that they have every legal and moral right to own as many guns as they please, pay no taxes, educate their children at home, and live free of any law except those governing, in the most direct manner, their own security and that of their neighbors.”

For providing me with such a succinct overview, I decided, out of respect, to read the rest of the article. Mr. Learner talked a lot about community and mentioned that for more than 8,000 years beginning with the advent of agriculture, we humans shared our food. Since there was no refrigeration, it was the smartest way to assure the next meal. If someone had food everyone in the clan or tribe had food. “The best place to store food was in the bodies and minds of others,” Mr. Learner explained.

This idea about refrigeration made me curious which provoked another Google search. The home refrigerator was invented by Kalvinator and Frigidaire around the turn of the 20th Century, so in just 98 years we seem to have forgotten all about our 8,000 years of sharing food with others.

Up With Chris Hayes – Chris Hayes and Tanya Wells.
 On Sunday, as luck would have it, a segment on Up With Chris Hayes featured Tanya Wells, a young woman who along with her husband brought home $100,000 a year before the recession. They both lost their jobs in shrinking industries and ended up on public assistance. She was bright, articulate and was using every bit of her intellect to remedy her situation.

Of course, now earning only about $18,000 a year she was standing in line with other “poor” people at state agencies looking for help. Tanya was struck by the fact that they, too, were struggling but they had no idea how to get out of their dilemma. They had no plan; they had no knowledge as she did.

Tanya called them the “forgotten poor” which she admitted she never considered when thing were going well for her family. That lack of empathy for those less fortunate is changing in Tanya’s life. She said she is going to help herself and her family get back to the middle class and then go back to those agencies to show others how to plan and improve their lot in life.

How is it possible for something—we humans did for 8,000 years together—to just disappear as life gets a bit easier? Twenty five percent of our kids in school are hungry. How hard is it to ask around to see if maybe one or two families could be helped? Especially if thing are going well for your family. As with Tanya, things were going well until they weren’t. To paraphrase Mr. Learner, “The best place to store food is in the bodies and minds of others,” not refrigerators.

Beautiful Duplex
Often that phrase is an oxymoron, but the two new apartments on the corner of Miles and Cherry really are beautiful. The nasty eye-sore they replaced shows what can be done with a little imagination. I met the new residence Sunday, Dillon who lives with two of her girlfriends and Jack. Even though they live next door to each other they had not met yet so I took care of that in short order.

They all are students at the U of A and agreed to participate in One Can A Week. That makes the place even more beautiful.

We collected a total of 186 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $33.00, a $25.00 check and $8.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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