Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Solicitations

The other day, I received by mail two solicitations. One asked me for a monetary contribution in support of the organization's activities. The other "invited" me to apply for a credit card, which to my mind is a solicitation for my business as well as one to incur debt or lose money. Both requested money for one reason or another. I wonder: is there anyone who does not want to separate me from my money?


The truth is that I have little money, so solicitations of any kind now annoy me. The more I receive, the more I want to be left alone. When the "Do Not Call" list came into existence, I was ecstatic.  Finally, a way to stop the solicitations! If only there were a way or ways to stop them from coming in the mail or my e-mail.

When I say I have little money, I mean that I am on the verge of going broke.  I have become a member of the "working poor."  This leads me to wonder if most writers (or any creative artist) are actually members of the working poor.  There are most likely those who have day jobs such as teaching, office work, retail, etc.  I worked for years as an administrative assistant in offices.  My typing blazes! My phone etiquette puts Miss Manners to shame!

But then I took some time off to focus on my writing and its related business.  During that time, I became ill, and my short hiatus from working for someone else turned into several years.  When I was able to return to the workplace, I'd been out of the workplace just long enough to make HR hiring managers skeptical that my business as a writer was truly a business.

My health is fine.  I maintain my skills as an administrative assistant by working a part-time job, and with my on-going writing business.  But now I'm on the verge of going broke.  In the past, I've been a generous person, donating money (and time) to worthy causes as well as non-profit arts organizations.  But now, I no longer have the money to express my generosity.

I understand that organizations and businesses that mail out solicitations have bought a mailing list, or have mined their own business records to create their own mailing list. They send out blanket solicitations rather than targeting them to specific audiences.  I have actually contacted some organizations and asked them to stop soliciting money from me and why.

For the most part, they do not understand, or even think about, the kind of reaction they may be triggering with their solicitations.  For example, one local funeral home sends out a solicitation to come to their business to plan your funeral and pay in advance.  Really?  I'm really too busy right now living and trying to figure out how I'll stay in my apartment to be planning my funeral.

Is there no one who does not want my money?  Maybe the Dalai Lama?  I don't know.  It seems like humans have conferred way too much power on money -- the power to influence, the power to buy, to give, to spend, to be independent and secure.  But what about our humanity?  What happens to that when we allow money to have the upper hand over us?

When do you feel the most human?  When you're cashing your paycheck?  Buying clothing?  Paying bills?  We humans invented money as a tool of exchange, but haven't we let it get kind of out of hand?  What do you think?

I have set myself a challenge for this blog going forward.  As a member of the working poor, I want to write about life in that group and how I see the world from that vantage point.  I plan to continue writing my "Successful Patient" posts also.  Stay tuned....


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