Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Front Porch

The design of modern day homes has become it's very own sociological experiment with their simple front door entry way and sealed from the world garages that allow you to leave the waving neighbor behind as you pull in like Batman.

I grew up in a house with an enormous front porch. In a much older society, the front porch was a neutral place where anyone could come over and visit. They didn't have to come inside and it allowed for a greater reach into your neighbor's life, what they were experiencing and how things were going in the community. It was a communication gateway for one-on-one relationships that very little of us have anymore with our neighbors.

You can say that Facebook has solved some of these issues with staying in touch but who in their right mind will announce to the world when something is challenging for them?
With this loss of community, I humbly believe that it has taken it's toll on our society and largely responsible for the fact that our government will spend more than $700 billion on means-tested welfare programs. To define this: Means-tested welfare programs provide cash, food, housing, free or subsidized medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low income Americans.

So you're saying to yourself what is he talking about. He's lost his mind...right?

I had a great Aunt named Beulah Skinner and she was, in my opinion, a modern day saint. She was a pillar within her community and made sure that no one went hungry. If someone was without, Beulah was there to the rescue with canned food in hand. If someone needed money, she kept dimes rolled up in a drawer. She was a leader in the First Baptist Church in Saratoga, Texas and led the children's sunday school classes while checking up on everyone within the community every Sunday. Oh...and most importantly, she was crippled.

Today, an Aunt Beulah is hard to find. It seems that everyone is much more preoccupied with what they have versus what they can give. And our very own behavior has forced our government to step in and do what we're supposed to be doing ourselves.

I heard a sermon a while back where the topic was about tithing. The point made from the lesson was simply to give of yourself. And if your significant other is the one writing the check and you have no idea what the amount is, it doesn't count for you. You have to be the one giving. You have to be the one that writes the check. You must know and care what you are giving if it is to count.

Not to sound like a preacher but isn't this what we're doing now with our own government programs?

And what becomes of the society that receives all of these benefits from our government? Do they believe that they are entitled to them? Do they become more concerned about what they can get versus what they can give?

There is a big push for entitlement reform within the Republican party at the moment and given the economic state of where we are as a country, who knows what will happen. I would only ask that you consider your fellow man in any decision you make when you begin to hear the arguments of both sides.

What is the right thing to do? Give of yourself or let someone else give for you?

Maybe the answer lies on a front porch somewhere. A front porch where people share of themselves and try to make things better for each other.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece Edwin. I remember our late preacher Dr Andrews giving many a sermon on the importance of giving till you feel it. I think the lack of giving can also be attributed to folks thinking that it's solely government's job. If government is so good at it then why hasn't the "War on Poverty " been won yet?
    We all could use a little front porch sittin and a little back porch picken.
    A lot more Aunt Beulahs and a little less of Uncle Sam wouldn't hurt either.