Faith in Humanity
There are days when I just can’t think about fat activism any longer. Days when I look at all the new “studies” blaming fat people for everything from global warming to the lack of non-renewable resources to high unemployment, and I wonder if we can ever make an impact.
Then I see the video on Facebook about a female bus driver/monitor being horribly bullied by children on a bus.
Then I’m certain we’ll never be able to have an impact, due to the amount of hate evident even in the children.
And just when I’m sure that humanity has lost what makes us human — qualities like compassion and empathy and things like that — I read two things.
First, is Ragen Chastain’s post about the bus driver, Karen Huff Klein, and the outpouring of support to this woman has been incredible. What started out as a page to raise $5,000 to send this woman on a vacation has turned into $418,000 and rising. This could be enough money for Klein to retire and not have to deal with those pieces of excrement
kids who caused her so much grief.
And then, linked from another friend on Facebook (I’m supposed to be working on lace, but Facebook, y’all!), I found a truly heartwarming story. (Just keep reading, it ties in at the end, honest.)
HuffPost has a story about nine women, who call themselves “The 9 Nanas,” and how they have helped people in their community for 35 years. These women were privileged. So, when they first thought about doing something, they decided to start doing their laundry themselves, rather than have it done for them. That gave them $400 per month to help people in practical ways, such as paying their electric bills and buying clothes for their children. And remember, 35 years ago, $400 was a LOT of money.
They did everything anonymously. They would go out at night, looking for places without any lights on, to see what addresses might have had their power turned off. They’d eavesdrop on conversations in the grocery store to hear when people didn’t have enough money to buy their children clothes. They did amazing things for many people over the years, never telling anybody what they did.
They kept the secret so well, not even their husbands knew for 30 years. Then one day, one of the Nana’s husbands noticed a lot of money going out of the bank account. That’s when they realized they had to ‘fess up to their husbands.
The amazing thing? Even more amazing than what these nine women had done all those years? The husbands supported them and started helping them! The Nanas then confessed to their children, and received even more support.
This is a very heartwarming story of practical help, of a real life application of compassion, charity (which means love), and empathy.
These ladies are still doing everything they’ve done, and now they have an internet business selling the cakes they would give away with all of their help. Their site is called Happiness-Happens, and they have a bunch of handmade breads and curds for sale. The proceeds from the business go to support their vocation of, you know, helping others.
If y’all have any money to spare, I ask that you go to their website and buy a cake from them. Not only will you be getting a damn fine cake (from all reports, since I’ve not had one — yet), but you’ll be helping them to have a very practical impact on the lives of people in their community.
If you read their blog, I can almost guarantee you won’t have a dry eye. The first post I read (from back in May) made my eyes leak. Their blog has much wisdom, but this hit home: We shared this to prove a point: no matter who you are or what you have to offer, it’s just enough to make a difference.
I’m just one person. I often get tired of fighting the “studies” and the hate and the lies that are constantly thrown at fat people. Yet, my voice, along with all of your voices, will make a difference. Karen Huff Klein has seen $30,000 of a difference — a major, real life impact. The people who are the recipients of The 9 Nanas’ generosity have seen a real life difference. And Fat/Size Acceptance is already making a difference, in more and more news segments, and the conversation is turning around a little bit. My faith is being restored.
See, I told you it ties in at the end.