While I may feel persecuted by all this demand for money, I do understand.
It does seem as if there is less money in the helping pot and I do understand that Riding for the Disabled and all the other organisations that do good things for people are stretched financially. I can see when I walk down Lambton Quay in Wellington and even at my local shops that there are more homeless people on the streets and more beggars. New Zealand has been for many years a place of no beggars and we do have a social welfare system that I pay taxes towards in the understanding that these people will get sufficient help. But it seems they are not getting that help.
I contributed to Kiva some time ago – this is an organisation that loans money to people on your behalf. The loans are small and cover things like money for coffee beans, money towards a child’s education or to stock a shop run by a single mother in Uganda for example or buy machinery. I like this idea a lot and I get notices when there has been a repayment so that when I have enough I can decide where my next loan goes to. It has a cyclical sense to it, and although the money goes overseas I feel as if I am helping in some small way. You can also make a small amount available on behalf of someone, for example my mother, and this money goes into the system and is used in her name. She’d have liked that.
My sense of frustration arises from the fact that I also have to keep myself going – house and health – because there will be no back up for me. Or very little. So for many of us we are trying to stay afloat knowing that life can get tough, but also offer support to younger friends and friends experiencing pain and difficulty and keep ourselves sane, happy and independent.
I suspect this situation will worsen as I age and while in some ways I am looking forward to doing something different and living differently, in other ways I am just a tiny, little bit anxious.
So how we do we solve the New Zealand dilemma? Not sure but I’ll think about it. Voting for a socialist government might be a start.