Friday, October 14, 2005

Better To Give Than To Receive

Since Hurricane Katrina, Therese and I have heard from so many of our friends and family. Some I have not corresponded with for 20 years, so it was great to hear from these voices from the past. My family especially has been very generous with helping us out mentally, financially and materially (food, clothes, furniture). I guess that is what families are supposed to do, sort of be a support net in case bad things happen. We are quite thankful to have such great families. But then more recently it seems friends have really gone to amazing lengths to help out. Yesterday I received an extremely generous check from Ron Tappy, director of the Zeitah Excavations, who had contacted donations from our friends through The Albright Institute of Archaeological Research and The American Schools of Oriental Research. The list of contributers was pretty remarkable, and I wanted to say thank you. Some of these people are starting out new families, they are the academically unemployed, and many I know are far from rich. Taking money from these people makes me very uneasy. I find it simple to accept money from the Red Cross and Fema. This is more complicated. So let me say thank you so much, and I sure hope that I never again find myself at this end of the donation continuum. I would rather write the check myself. I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful or smug, it's just that all of this is so emotionally difficult. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Homan
I was thinking about your predicament. I can understand how uneasy you can feel by receiving money from those that do not have alot. It reminds me of the Biblical story of Moses and his stay in Midiann with Reuel. Moses was taken in by a stranger for the good work Mose's did for his family. I am sure that this man did not have much, but Reuel did what he thought to be right. I have had you as a teacher and have listened and read the amazing things you do on a daily basis. I believe that you would in turn do the same for a person who may find himself in a similar situation. I mean if the shoe were on the other foot, I believe you would give to that person in need. To quote the "Prince of Egypt"(A very good movie by the way) 'When all you've got is nothing there is alot to go around.' My mother always told me that you do what you can for others not to later receive something in return, but to do a service for someone else no matter how small or grand brings a joy beyond compare. But if you do feel that the gift you and your family received is too great then you can use one of the great talents that you have to repay the kindness. You are a good writer. You could write a book about your experiences with the hurricane,then it will become a number one bestseller and you can give back whatever to the Albright organization. Just an idea if you become riddled with guilt or depression or whatever. OR you could "Pay it Forward" (another great movie by the way)
A fellow Xavier Exile

Michael Homan said...

Prince of Egypt, bad movie. Pay It Forward, good movie. Thanks Nichole

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,

Glad you all got the check. It sounds as though you will need it in order to jumpstart your lives, wherever that will be... I'm moving to Deutschland in December; if you need a few random electrical appliances, let me know.

Fellow Albrighter, Justin