The commonplace definitions (From Wiki):
- A widow is a woman whose spouse has died, while a widower is a man whose spouse has died
- An orphan (from the Greek ὀρφανός) is a child permanently bereaved of or abandoned by his or her parents. In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents is called an orphan.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, andto keep himself unspotted from the world.”
As it happens . . . in the early days, the widows and orphans were more often women and children who had for one reason or another been “Cast Out” by (usually) the (Male) head of the household. The result of this casting out would be a life of poverty for them because with this casting out came “shame” and the inability for them to fend for themselves, earn wages etc.
Thus their “affliction.”
From a biblical stand-point, this gives rise to advocacy for charity and selfless service to others – GRACE!
Zoom to early American times when the settlers were having their own set of challenges surviving in the new world. These settlers had a similar “affliction” as they had cast themselves out from the comforts of the civilized Motherland and ventured into the wild. They toiled indefatigably through the challenges that Mother Nature presented, battled illness, and learned survival skills “on the job” . . .
It was during the Fall Harvest that they squirreled away the fruits of their labor for the long, bitter winters and gave thanks for having survived another year.
Not all settlers had the same measure of harvest. In fact, it is probable that 20% of the growers yielded 80% of the crop. Logically, this would mean that potentially 80% of the people would be “afflicted” with not enough . . . while the 20% would have WAY more than needed.
I’m not a bettin’ man, but if I were . . . I’d bet those 20% folks offered whatever they could to help those in need . . . and they ALL gave thanks for the bounty of the harvest.
THAT is the fundamental nature of America (and mankind) – “We the People” left to our own devices will take care of the Widows and Orphans.
and the best part?
Most folks will do this without need for acknowledgement . . . just out of the innate goodness of their hearts.
My wish is for a Happy thanksgiving for ALL people.
You can make a real, positive difference this week simply with some kind of random act of kindness to/for someone who needs a lift.
PS: A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Orphans” . . . but I was talking about Home Buyers and Sellers whose REALTORS had succumbed to the economic down-turn (Quit Selling houses) and were therefore cast out into the marketplace without their trusted adviser . . . I made the simple, long-standing offer to serve as their “Foster REALTOR” whenever they were in need of Real Estate Related services.
This offer still stands . . . even to the extent that I (Pareto Realty) have developed a way for these Real Estate Professionals to work their way BACK into the business (If they so choose) or to renew their license and be eligible to receive referral income by sending their “orphaned house buyers and sellers” to me.
It takes a village!