Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Compassion in conservatism

One of the blogs I read a while back (sorry, I can't remember which one) made the statement that there is no compassion in conservatism.

Today I'd like to tell you the story of the bread working in the community.

There is a bakery in Boise (capitalist bakery, that is) that donates all their bread over run to the local refugee center. The local refugee center uses what it can and tries to distribute the rest of the bread throughout the community so that nothing is wasted.

One of my friends is friends with the refugee center's director. She came to visit the other day and brought a huge bag of bread with her. When I say huge... it was hard to lift... both because of it's weight and it's mass. I protested, but she left here without that huge bag of bread.

There was way more bread than our family could eat or store. Waste was going to occur. I hate waste. Waste is sinful (especially when so many are making do without the plentiful food they had a few years ago when the economy was good).

Have I mentioned that my husband's family is Mormon? Mormons are very efficient in the way their wards are organized. It took just one phone call to begin the ball rolling and get the bread distributed to households who could really use a little extra bread. Once I started giving the bread away I found many other venues we could have used to distribute the excess bounty.

You know what's amazing? The government wasn't involved. We gave the bread away on inauguration day. So, you know, the actual distribution had to wait until after we heard Obama sworn in. Other than that, the bread distribution was totally free will.

We're a happy group of bread give away-ers (yep, I just made up that word). Isn't it amazing that the bakery donated their excess bread so that it wouldn't waste? And then the refugee center passed on whatever they couldn't use. My friend passed on what she couldn't use. I kept a couple loaves and then passed on the rest.

A lot of families benefited from the generosity of the bakery. The bakery benifits by generating good will in the community. Those who can afford their bread pay for it. The people who have less and can't afford a $4.00 loaf of bread still enjoy the product (and we tell our friends and family about this wonderful bakery). Lots of people could have hoarded the bread or let it go to waste. People could have waited too long and let the bread become stale or moldy. Yet, we all did what we had to do in order to make sure waste did not occur.

Charity begins at home. Communities work together to care for the weakest and most needy of their members. Even the weak and needy can contribute to the community effort. Everybody wins when communities work together.
Lots of people pulled together to make sure the most posssible people benifited


jugglingpaynes said...

You put me in mind of one of my favorite bagel shops. When we come late in the day, they usually give us extra bagels because they can't save them. Once they gave us a huge bag, and then we gave others some of the extra because there was just too much for us.

You are absolutely right. Charity must begin with each individual. Opportunities happen every day. I would add that the same is true of environmental conservation, energy conservation, and, of course, peace. :o)

Peace and Laughter!

Barbara Frank said...

I enjoyed that post. Where we used to live, there was a large homeschooling family (eight kids) that took their van to local grocery stores and bakeries and picked up their day-old baked goods, then took them into the city to homeless shelters and food pantries. The kids would practice their musical instruments on the long traffic-filled trip downtown. Way cool!

BTW, thanks for your comments at my blog :)

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room