Scraping the barrel to help others

2019-02-06 06:01
Advocate Kuni Ditira – Social Observer

Advocate Kuni Ditira – Social Observer

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Some time ago there was a funeral not far from where my sister was staying.

We went to one of the local businessmen to ask for assistance.

He was one of the richest people in Bloemfontein – that was before the so-called tenderpreneurs. We thought he would give us money to buy a sheep or some groceries from his supermarket.

Alas, he gave us a bag of cabbage. I was so disappointed.

It is only now, years later, that I understand. We were not the only ones asking him for assistance. If he gave us money, we would have told others and more would approach him for assistance.

I was talking to one of our assistants at church and he told me that every day his family come to ask him for money and assistance. He says they cannot understand that he too is struggling. He receives an old age pension and a small stipend from the church, but many are expecting him to assist them.

On month-end everyone is contacting you for money. Your office or home looks like the Batho Clinic. Everyone wants you to buy them something, or to pay something or to give them a loan. Everyone think their request is more important than the other one’s.

Unfortunately, we all have a limited supply of money. At least, those who get a fixed salary. The more you earn, the more you pay tax, the more commitments you have.

You give and give but people expect more. More people are joining the queue. Maybe you are their only hope. If they could just understand that you are already helping multitudes.

At one point in life you are not able to give more. You cannot give more than you have.

Sometimes the giver is sacrificing his or her needs to assist.

You are giving not from the fat but you are scraping the barrel.

My cousin’s granddaughter had a baby shower. I sent R200 towards that. It seems they were expecting more. They did not even tell me when the baby was born. I hear they were angry and called me names. How much was I supposed to give?

The Batswana say, “Senkganang se nthola morwala” – “One less person to worry about”.

Sometimes people expect you to assist them, but when they have money they spend it as if there is no tomorrow. Now schools are open, children need books, stationery, transport and fees. In December we forgot that January was coming. We ate like there was no tomorrow. If we could only learn to save.

Let us learn from our mistakes. Let us stop being doormats for other people. They only know you when they are having troubles. When everything goes well, they forget you.

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