So the Just Posts are coming to an end. Because of the last two years of Just Posts, we started sponsoring a child in Lesotho through Help Lesotho. I started this website to raise funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, around the time that I started volunteering at my local drop-in centre. Now, for the last hurrah of the Just Posts, it’s time to pump up our giving again. I’ve been trying to decide what to do, and I keeping coming back to my own tiny piece of the world. So I’m going to make monthly donations to the local drop-in centre. I had hoped to do this through CanadaHelps but for some reason the monthly giving option isn’t available for this particular charity. Oh well, I’ll just have to do it manually.
One of the things I love about the drop-in centre is that they (we) don’t treat the people they (we) serve with pity. People are expected to behave appropriately, and yet we make sure to never leave more than a dollar or two in the cash box, coats get locked away, and we are told to avoid leaving sharp knives on the front counter. I’m not sure how exactly to articulate it, except to use the term I discovered in In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté: unconditional regard. To me it means treating people with compassion but not pity, with humanity but not rose-coloured glasses, if that makes any sense. I saw a reference somewhere, maybe to a music album, maybe something else, but it was along the lines that we are all broken and beautiful. The drop-in centre teaches me that over and over.
It’s easy to become complacent. To tell yourself that you give here and here so you’ve done your part. But if you *can* afford more, why not? Especially with the economy tanking, more and more people are going to need help. Every time I get complacent, every time I think I’m doing enough, the Just Posts challenge me to rethink. Or I discover someone who puts me to shame. And the answer is that I might be doing enough, but I can do more.
The end of the Just Posts doesn’t have to be an ending; I prefer to look at it as a graduation. The Just Posts have taught me the basics, now it’s time for me to continue the journey on my own.
Here are some new pictures: