Not weather-wise; outside looks pretty beautiful right now. Gray, as in that space that's not quite white, and not quite black. That has tons of shades and variations that all go by the same name, but look completely different from each other. That tends to get me into trouble because I play in the gray area far too much, and pretty much avoid black and white at all costs.
Today's shade of gray lives between personal and social responsibility. I was raised to believe in both, practice both, and recognize the benefits and downfalls of each. Obviously, one can't lie around eating bon-bons all day and expect to have society give them everything. As much as I would love to live that life some days, it's not going to happen. At the other extreme, one can't be completely self-reliant either, or the world would be covered by roads marked "My road" and "Your road" and "His road" and "Her road", ad nauseum. And vigilantes would roam free, parsing out what justice they saw fit. Both aspects must occur together in order to have a functioning society. Mind you, I'm not defining social responsibility as solely government, because I think that organizations and non-profits can also do some great work, and government shouldn't handle everything- there's a real value in communities helping other members of the community and more personal involvement in society.
My love of gray leads me to do some silly things at times, like hosting a purse party. No, not Coach and Gucci- Haitian Creations. Purses made by women in Haiti. It's personal responsibility in that the women are learning valuable skills and a paycheck to help support their families (not to mention self-confidence and independence), and social responsibility in that it's an organization (Heartline Ministries) that is bringing people together to help others through donations, volunteers, and purchases that go to support education. If you're familiar with the Women's Bean Project, it's a similar concept. A friend of mine (Julie, of Mining with RareJule) hosted one a while back and turned me on to the project, because of the closeness in time with the Haiti earthquake and the program itself. So I'm hosted a purse party this Mother's day evening. I could claim it was intentional, the connection with women's rights and education with celebrating moms, but no- I just screwed up because I could have sworn Mother's day was later in May. Oh, well, it works, right? And I'm announcing the party today, the three month mark after the earthquake, which again I could claim as grand planning on my part, but again is just coincidence. I didn't realize it was today until I was writing this post during World Have Your Say. If nothing else, I'm lucky.
Stop on by the event page sometime soon, maybe pick up a gift for mom, if you're in the Kent area, stop by that night for some good food, and support Haiti's women. I have instructions on how to order on the events page as well, or just email me- I'll ship anywhere. Encourage social responsibility by supporting a great organization, and encourage personal responsibility by helping these women to support themselves. Now that's a win-win.