I feel sooo guilty. I am a lacto-ovo veggie, trying to move to veganism (not moving quickly enough!) And lately I've been feeling like I am so greedy. I have so much stuff I don't need and I spend my money excessively on things I dont need. I eat foods with animal products in them that I dont need to, which hurt animals and myself. I saw a homeless man today with a sign saying, "I will work for food." So I stopped at the store and bought him a little bit of food, as much as I felt good giving that to him, how horrible am I for taking things so much for granted. I need a lesson in humility...I cant imagine what it must be like to have to hold a sign up on a busy street asking for food, having probably no luck at all.
Any advice on how to make myself feel better or to give back? And does anybody know that book by a guy who became a hobo for a year? All of this made me think of that book, but I cant remember who it's by.
I can relate. Lately I've been trying to think how I can make a difference. I am starting with buying less clothes and looking into organic cotton or hemp. I also feel terribly guilty for buying tennis shoes made with leather. I think making lifestyle changes are huge and I've accepted the fact that I'll do a little at a time. My first step is to educate myself. I'm also looking to volunteer for an enviormental cause in my community. But I haven't found one, yet.
Maybe you can volunteer at a homeless shelter? Or maybe a church or another place that feeds homeless people? Or maybe volunteer for a non-profit organization? Just some thoughts.
I don't know the book you're thinking about, though.
((((HUGS)))) mandabear ...
I know how you feel. I've been "depressed" since the 2000 election; however, going vegan is the most active thing you can do, so GOOD FOR YOU! And please don't give up. It means so much to animals, the environment and the living, breathing planet we reside; other human beings too, as veganism encompasses the philosophy of exploiting *no* sentient being. And since veganism is done every day, you can be confident that, yes, you *are* making a difference every_single_ DAY.
If you need help with going vegan, please email me or pm me and I will do whatever I can to help. Going from ovo-lacto to vegan in many cases is more difficult than going straight from omni to vegan! You're not alone, believe me.
Right now, you can give to victims suffering the inexcusable, *horrific* aftermath of Katrina hurricane.
many thanks for sharing, your post reminded me of my own selfishness. Many times I think, how can I focus so much on eating healthily, and ignore the fact that there are people whose main goal is to eat all?
There is so much that one can do, around us there is an ocean of people in need, homeless people, starving people, lonely people. There is also no end of possibilities to help the environment (starting from recycling, for example). If one is willing, opportunities to make world a happier place are endless. Those opportunities can be clearly seen once we open our eyes to the external world.
I think very often that I am not doing enough. I do care for my family, for myself, I try to be environmentally-aware, but I think there is so much more that I can and should do, so thank you for reminding me of that.
Yesterday, I read about a charitable organization that collects "shoe-box" presents for children in Thailand for upcoming Christmas. I am planning make the shoe-box Christmas present, and get my children involved in it. I know, it is a token gesture, but one has to start somewhere. Also, I believe that helping my children to develop a sense of awarness about other, perhaps less fortuntate people, is very important.
In the past, I have been involved in various fundrasising activities, but since we moved to Hobart, I've been idle. Time to move!
Feelings of guilt are a good thing, what they do is allow us to know that we can make better choices.
More loving choices, such as not buying leather shoes, or more giving choices, such as buying the homeless man a meal. We make thousands of choices every single day, and each choice inmpacts million of others.
But realize that every single person on the planet is making choices, based upon what they know at that moment, and what they know at that moment, is based upon the choices they have made in their lives up to that point.
To see that someone has no food, is simply to see what they allow you to see, you have no way of knowing what is and what is not.
Depak Chopra says," I am unmoved, if you give me a compliment or if you give me criticism. As those are your choices, not mine." I believe this.
Every person makes choices at every moment in time, and those choices manifest that person's life, and new choices.
If you look at someone and see lack, then you will also see lack in your own life. Seeing lack, promotes victum hood and a feeling of depression.
If you look at each person and what they do have, as perfect in their Universe, then you can see all things as perfect in the Universe.
After all, who are we to judge.
Now, don't get me wrong, I give tons of money and things to charitable institutions, to the homeless etc. But I don't see them as having less than me, I see them as perfect in the Universe, and maybe it is perfect for me to share.
Once when I was very young in my teens, I had very little money, I was the only person working in a household of 5, and I had a baby to support, I was walking out of a store, and I saw a man sitting in filthy clothes on the sidewalk, he had a pop in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. I had $1 left to my name, and that was to buy me lunch the next day at work.
I handed him the $1, and he looked up at me and said, "So, now am I supposed to Thank you, and be all indebted to you for this?", and I said, "No, I don't expect to buy a thank you from you, I simply thought you might be needing it more than I do." At which point he spit on me.
Now, what did I learn from this? Don't make assumptions, and everyone is perfect in their space at this moment in time, no matter where they are.
Now, I didn't drink popbecause I couldn't aford it, and I didn't smoke either because it was expensive, I think a pack of cigs were $.35 each LOL, now I guess they are about $5.00 how things change.
So, you can give out of love, but please don't give out of guilt or a feeling of lack, it doesn't help you and it doesn't help the person or institution you are giving to.
mandabea, you said " I need a lesson in humility " but it seems to me you just had one! :-)
Do not be hard on yourself. Service begins at home, with yourself, your family and loved ones. Do not think that doesnt count because it does, tremendously!
Blessings of Love~