Monday, 18 April 2011
A friend telephoned me
yesterday afternoon. I had left her a message to say I might be off-line for a bit because I was having problems with the computer. (I did manage to get it booted up this morning by using a trick my brother-in-law suggested as an emergency measure. It will not last.) "Would I," she asked, "be willing to accept some help to buy a new computer?" My immediate reaction to this was "No, of course not" but she went on to explain. She was left money, a large sum of money, with which "to do good". It was left to her by another friend and, sensibly, she has invested it and uses the interest to do as her friend asked. She targets genuine need directly rather than a vague donation to some charitable cause. "It is," she told me, "surprisingly hard to give away." I can understand that. I felt most uncomfortable but then she said, "I do not want to give it to you. I want to give it to the people you help, people really in need." She left me to think about that. I talked it over with my father and I spent a good time awake last night thinking about this. I need a computer to do my job. Other people need me or someone like me. It helps them do their job and, all too often, their job is about saving lives. But I also use my computer for things like writing this blog, keeping in touch with distant friends and as a word processor for my writing. I also read some blogs. That is all part of my recreation I suppose. This morning I sat down and sent my friend an e-mail. I feel I cannot accept her offer in full but I am going to allow her to help a little, perhaps half of the cost? I still do not feel comfortable about this but I think I understand that it is something she wants to do. I hope I am doing the right thing. It is a curious situation to be in. What would you do?