i spend too much time reading.
But i think about what i read, & make connections too.
Yesterday i began that gift book about TR, Mornings on Horseback. McCullough begins with a couple chapters about TR's parents.
Our 26th president set out to live up to his father's name and in the end eclipsed it. Who knows these days that President Theodore Roosevelt was the son of Theodore Roosevelt?
TR senior was the sort of philanthropist whose travels were greeted with a sigh of relief. Not because he was an odious man; he was in fact very well-liked, but because he threw himself completely into his causes: personally, with his own considerable finances, and soliciting from his also wealthy friends. One friend estimated he had a thousand dollars additional disposable income the year the Roosevelt family spent in Europe.
He set up museums and homes for NYC orphans. During the Civil War, he approached Lincoln about funding for the families of soldiers. What he received was not government funding, but backing to visit the troops and carry the soldiers' own money as designated by them home to their families.
He spent most of the war years traveling on the project, often sleeping in tents and on trains, seldom seeing his own family, who had their own health problems.
Nothing is mentioned of his appearances at the family firm during this time.
Theodore Roosevelt senior did not fight in the union army, out of consideration to his Southern wife, but he cared about the plight of Union soldiers and their families. And he backed it up with his life.
Yesterday Diveboard Dave posted about the "While Others Play" letter to the editor of the Indianapolis Star.
Understandably the writer is frustrated by the scads of money going to fripperies while someone he loves is in need. As am i.
But we must remember the man has earned the money in an honest way, must be presumed to pay taxes honestly, and donates charitably. The money is his, and whether we like it or not, he may do with it as he pleases.
And that is not the entire picture. The fancy guitars were made by craftsmen. The craftsmen were paid by former owners, but they were paid.
Artists and craftsmen have a place in society.
The fancy guitars were sold to this man by somebody. Personally, i own some collectibles. Some i paid for myself, $5 at a time over months. Others are antiques inherited from deceased family members.
When i sell them, i sincerely hope there is someone out there with the disposable income to buy them for something like they are supposed to be worth.
My $5/month collectibles came from the Tyrol Valley of the Alps. They came through numerous intermediaries. The artists did not receive all the profit from them, but from what they did receive, they are able to continue to live in their beautiful valley. i enjoy them as much as my art from local artists (which i also have some of, and have created some of). Likely i would not have them without the intermediaries. And the valley people, who have a decent living from the crafts, would be considerably poorer without these intermediaries.
So, to gather up my threads, where are we?
We can't dictate what others do with their funds.
We can take an active part in asking, suggesting what they might do. We can definitely take more part in caring for our own, both family and neighbors.
The Arc of Indiana, in their Blueprint for Change, talks about "soft supports" in the community, family and friends, being part of the solution. Carlene Crum, is a person who did just that.Her son required many hours of hands-on therapy. In her book Something of Value, she describes speaking in churches and other places, asking for volunteers to donate an hour a week to working with her son, meeting his needs.
i don't care to point fingers at others. There's too much to be done in this corner of the planet.