A Dialogue on Charity
by T. E. H.
Fr. Lan from Fooland (He insists it pronounced “fulland”) & Parishioner R. Hood
Fr. L: Mr. Hood! Why are you trying to start my car?
R.H.: Why father, I’m just trying to live up to your sermons. Didn’t you say last Sunday that if a poor person steals something from a rich person, there was no sin involved? That is was a positive good?
Fr. L: I certainly did and I stand by that. The obligations of Christian charity require that we have a preferential option for the poor. But since I’m not rich and you’re not poor, what does that have to do with my car?
R.H.: Well you certainly didn’t give us any way of deciding who was rich and who was poor. So, I checked on your salary and benefits and since you make more than me, that makes you richer and me poorer. So you’re rich and I’m poor.
Fr. L: That’s ridiculous! Besides, I never intended it to apply to you or me, but to the really rich and the really poor.
R.H.: You seem rich enough to me, and I certainly feel poor. And as you said in another sermon, feelings are what it’s all about.
Fr. L: I’m not going to bandy words with you anymore. Get out of my car or I’m calling the police.
R.H.: I’m shocked that you would willing collaborate with the um, what did you call them, oh yeah!, the tools of the American fascist regime. At least that’s what you called them when they were turning people over to the immigration service.
Fr. L: Just, get, out, of, my, car!
R.H.: Don’t have a fit, father, I’ll get out. I’ll even give you my key for the car. I’ll see if my son still has his key. He was a little tipsy when he came home last night and might have dropped it on the way into the house. Don’t worry, I gave him a good talking to about drinking and driving. He won’t do that again.
Fr. L: You mean that your rotten, no good, drugged out, bum of a son, has been driving my car?
R.H.: Sure father, he’s even poorer than I am.
The problems of the world are there for us to see. Some of us are affected more than others but the daily news brings us all closer to the reality of a generation on a downward spiral. We need a positive thought to offset the negative. And I think I have found it. We need a negative to bring back the positive!
Upon reflection, the answer is in the hands of the females of the world. Yes, I think a lot of what is wrong can be righted by women taking a firm stand with using only one, simple word. The word NO! There is so much of a positive nature that can be accomplished with a negative – a NO.
“The word yes brings trouble, the word no leads to no evil.” Arabic Proverb
The ‘me generation’ could be turned around if there were stronger parents, especially mothers, who would, could, and should say NO more than they do.
Unmarried mothers are at an all-time high. One guess who could have prevented the problem with a heartfelt NO. And where does the ‘positive negativity’ begin? With a mother willing to not only say NO but to give a good example by living with the same rules of life she expects from her children.
The world takes advantage of women because so many women are anxious to be part of the workplace, one of the ‘guys’, They say yes when NO would have taken them along a better path in life.
The fashion moguls dictate scanty outfits, immodesty, and generally ugly fashions. Women must be either brainwashed or afraid to say NO because they go along with the current lack of dress code and self-esteem.
Women want respect yet lower their standards instead of saying NO. Many females bemoan the baring covers of supposedly classy magazines that reveal everything but good taste. Obviously not enough NO’s as they all stay in business. Where would all the popular swimsuit editions be if the stars would object and refuse to pose?
The world doesn’t shape our thoughts, words, and desires. We shape the world either by our active participation or lack of interest in making a change. We can do something and the world changes or we can do nothing and the world will change regardless, but probably not to its betterment.
Why are women calling themselves liberated when they are such slaves to what everyone else thinks and what everyone else does or dictates? Where is the liberation in being the same? We have become such a cookie cutter society. How many times have you seen a chubby woman squeezed into spandex because that is the fashion? What had she done with her liberated right to say NO, and to wear something becoming to her?
Why are so many women forsaking their purity because they are told it doesn’t matter, it is an antiquated notion? The Ten Commandments are pretty old, too. I haven’t heard that God had rewritten them lately. Again, another big NO would save a lot of sin and sorrow.
It is heartbreaking to think of the responsibility we, women have shunned by our silence. Can you imagine the changes in the world if each and every woman on earth began tomorrow with a NO to the sins to which the world wants us to say yes?
“One half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quick, and not saying no soon enough.” Josh Billings
Barbara M. Barthelette