Down with Neglect!

 Posted by at 18:17  Down with
Jul 072014
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SONOMA, CA - NOVEMBER 24:  With less than one ...
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It is easy to sit here and come up with little things to complain about.  But that is not Cantankerous, that is just crabby.  Some days it is hard to find the Cantankerous side of things, especially with a holiday like Christmas staring us in the face.

I recently moved my desk to the other side of my living room in preparation for Christmas decorating.  we have to find a place for the tree.  This move was good though, because now I have a window to stare out of.  I try to justify it to myself as creative thinking when I am staring out the window but I am convinced that most of it is wasting time.

I keep thinking of what I could write about for this site based on what I see out of my window.  I could complain about all fo the leaves that have fallen on my lawn, or the wind that blew them around, or even the rain that will make them harder to rake up, or even the snow that now covers them.

I could complain about the snow plow that keep filling up my driveway approach with snow that I get to shovel out again and again.  Or I could complain more about the TSA, airports in general, or the fact that egg prices have gone up almost double since last month.  Again, mostly not Cantankerous.

Here is what I can wax cantankerous about.  People who don’t do whatever it takes for their kids.  I have seen way too many kids at the elementary school who are outside in the cold wearing 2-3 tshirts or a parents flannel shirt.  It has been running at less than 30 degrees in Salt Lake for a couple of weeks now, this week is the warmest and will barely be in the 40’s.  Now I understand that some people just can’t afford to buy new coats all of the time for their kids.

I get it, times are hard.  But, there are 2 goodwill stores, one Salvation Army and one Deseret Industries within 2 miles of the school.  Coats can be had for cheap at either of these places.  Sometimes even that is too much for people, yet a good portion of the time, these people have a perpetual cigarette in their mouths.  I can’t imagine letting my kids go without anything that they need.  I don’t buy myself stuff most of the time because A-I don’t need it and B- I can use the money for my kids.

2 years ago my daughter had her coat disappear at school.  A few days later we saw another little girl with the coat on, and she was one that needed it.  We never pursued the fact that it was stolen, my daughter had another coat anyway and we figured that this girl needed it worse.  But what are some people doing when they let their kids resort to stealing from other kids just so they can be warm?

This post has gone from a rant to a sad commentary on society.  I don’t know the answer to this problem.  We can donate to all sorts of charities and some people get the help they need but there are others who are not quite poor enough to qualify for some programs but not rich enough to keep their growing kids in clothes that need help too.  Go out and see what you can do in your community to help those who need just a little bit. And it doesn’t need to be coats, some climes do not require them.  I am sure if you looked you could find something that needed to be done.

Consider that your homework for the week, do something for your community.  See we here at the Coots do believe that it is a good thing to help out your fellow man.  We just don’t believe in letting people suck us dry taking advantage of us.  Get ready for the Christmas season, no matter your religion, there are people out there who need you and your support.

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Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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  11 Responses to “Down with Neglect!”

  1. Justin, it is the parents fault that they can go around with a smoke in their mouth (an aside…read my post on homestead frugality, Rolling Your Own…Cheap and Good, to be posted by the end of the weekend), but only partly.

    Our society, especially the poor, has been conditioned to look elsewhere, usually to government, for EVERYTHING.

    Not just a place to GET free or cheap coats, but actually getting them. We have created this monster ourselves by our voting (or not voting) habits.

    Its probably not as bad where you live as in other places because of the “take care of our own” attitude and influence of LDS. I’ve had some interaction with the LDS system at the local stake level and watching it work is fantastic.

    I’ve got an idea from your post for something we…you, me, Ralph, maybe others can do. I’ll email you.

    • finally back! anyway, the LDS systemis really good at getting to people in need if the need is known. I would really like to see the current system scrapped and replaced but I don’t think that is going to happen. All of the people who could really change it don’t want to be in politics. I would like to be more involved in the running of the community but I will never run for election, I don’t need all of that digging into my life and making a big deal out of the time I stole a pack of gum from Kmart when I was 6.

  2. Justin,
    Be careful here. You are going to seriously damage the Coots brand with all that compassion. I know it’s Christmas. I know there is all that good will in the air but try to reign in all that touchy feely stuff. Next thing we know you will be putting cute pictures of kitties and puppies in the heading.

    • Ralph, Ralph, Ralph, there is a small measure of compassion in Cantankerosity. If we didn’t care we wouldn’t be cantankerous. We just have to be really choosy about where that care is placed. Kids are one of my weak spots so there. And there will never be cute pictures in the headings..Ever. Although my daughter did take the picture of the fishing pond that is in the header right now…..

  3. Hi Justin,

    Whenever my kids grow out of anything and they are still in good condition I always take them to the charity shops. I never buy myself anything ‘new’ as I always make sure my kids come first. Being a single parent to 4 is tough going but I always make sure they have what they need.

    My son had his school jacket taken two days after returning, we know who took it and like you, I knew this little boy had nothing. He comes from a family of 14, I didn’t have the heart to take the jacket back and he now says hello everyday at the school.

  4. It’s a (relatively) well known fact that I actually don’t like kids much, and would never want my own. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


    If I wasn’t sticking to it I’d say that being able to provide for your children is paramount. Food, shelter, clothing. I don’t give a fuck if its (yes, I swore, not taking it back) brand name or not, basic clothing appropriate to the weather is damn important. If I ever did have children I’d do without myself if it meant they could have.

    That said, sometimes it can be incredibly difficult… say you’re doing all you can and you still can’t clothe your children properly. Or you don’t have enough for 3 square meals a day. There’s meant to be charities in place for these sorts of things, but frankly I think we should all care a bit more.

    That’s what I’d say if I liked children. You know, hypothetically.

  5. Heather…be careful with that hating children thingy. You were one once too, ya know.

    Me? I’ve managed to not grow up in 55 years…I’m tryin’ to keep it that way.

  6. Its a rather long story Bob =) I don’t despise them on a personal level, so long as I can send them home later.

  7. Heather, a few weeks back my kids and I sat for four days with no heating and no food because I didn’t have any money. The government cut all benefits in half, (I am not able to work unfortunately) I tried calling charities and organisation for help, which they said they couldn’t. I called 10 Downing street to speak to Ian Duncan Smith who is in charge of benefits demanding an explanation as to why he thinks £120 per week is enough for a family to live on. Needless to say I didn’t get any answers. Charities claim to help those in need, not so. They told me to go and get a crisis loan, which meant more debt. We were left to sit in the cold, -2 at that time. Basically, there is no real help for families in dire need and the government couldn’t give two hoots. I worked for 20yrs, paid my dues and then left out in the cold with nothing.

    I admire your stance on not having children, its always assumed that its every womens desire to have them and for those who don’t are scowled at.

  8. I know about the sorry state of benefits and charities in our country Maria… really we’re not doing enough. That’s a shocking state to be left in though! Makes you wonder how people sleep at night (maybe they’ve heard so much of it they’re growing an immunity. Not good).

    Being completely fair, I used to want children. Haven’t wanted that for a good few years now though, and honestly even if I did have them, I can barely support myself as is. Naturally because of my stance towards the whole thing, I get guilt-tripped by my grandparents a lot. Lol, what a strange world.

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