There seems to be a large number of people and organizations that are greatly concerned by the current problems in our government and facing our country. I have been receiving letters in the mail asking for my opinion on various issues.

The people who know me well know that I am very good at giving an opinion. I practice all the time. I learned a lot about giving opinions from my mom. There is no doubt in my mind that the ability is passed on by the genes and enhanced by knowledge. Mom was very good at giving her opinion and if you were smart, you didn’t argue with her!

I definitely have opinions about the various subjects in the different letters, however, if I send back the form with my opinion, they also want me to send money! Since I am retired and on a fixed income, I don’t have extra money to give away. So I am wondering, if I don’t send money will they actually read my opinions and answers to the questions or just toss my reply in the wastebasket?

I have found the letters to be very interesting. One is from an organization who claims to “investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials”. I am sure that they have a lot of work to do, as we are all aware that there is a lot of that! The letter contains a long list of well-known people who are in support of them.

There are “required membership dues”, as well as a line for my “preferred contribution”. There is a membership card and they gave me free address labels with quotes from past presidents, long ago dead. Why is this the first time I ever heard of this organization? I am sure it has been needed for a long time!

Another letter is a “National Opinion Survey about socialism and education”. It is from a college that I never heard of. They need me to complete the survey to plan their “national education outreach strategy”. The last question is “will you send your donation right now?” I definitely could give suggestions and opinions on what goes on in schools and colleges! By the way, this college has $528 million in endowment funds!

Another letter is addressed “Dear Concerned Patriot” and is about religion in schools. I am asked to donate money and they thank me for my “critical input”. The gentleman whose name is signed to this letter and whose words encourage my support is dead.

There is a letter from a well-known person who is currently active in our government. It has to do with work and labor in our country. I have heard him speak out numerous times and I often do agree with his ideas. Since I do know who this person is, if I were to send a donation, I might have more trust that it would be put to good use.

One of the more interesting letters was called “Christian Voter Registration and Survey”. It gave me a special identification number because this survey is for “me and me only”. A report of the survey will be shared with my Ohio representative, Ohio senators and the Ohio Governor. However my check for the donation is to be sent to Georgia to someone I never heard of! That person is a lobbyist and political consultant who was paid $1 million to lobby for certain casinos!

I don’t think that the small donation I might be able to give would make much difference to any of them. Of course, if they get a lot of small donations from people all over our country they will add up! We have a lot of organizations right here in our own county who do a lot of good things to help people in this area.

When I choose to give donations, it will be to local organizations. I can trust that the donation is being used for the right purposes and I will know the people who are involved. “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give”. (Ben Carson)

Barb Lumley wrote this column to be published in The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.

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