Contributed by Josh Fryfogle
I have a controversial opinion, and it’s not about cannabis. It’s about charity... and human suffering. I believe human suffering has divine purpose. It tears down the illusion of separation, that we are different from each other, and the fallacy that kindness is conditional.
People have raged at heaven, throughout time, challenging God about this human plight. Why would God create such suffering? I admit, I’ve wondered this, too. My faith has been shaken by the scope of human suffering that we’ve all seen, in this world of immediate media, where all the woes of the planet are a click away on the World Wide Web.
“Why would a loving God allow such suffering?”, many people have asked.
It’s a valid question.
I’ve had my faith shaken in humanity, too. I’ve seen what people will do, our selfish inclinations, to the point that we will destroy each other, our sisters and brothers, for fleeting financial freedom - or even less. I’ve seen stigmas applied to different groups of people, because of their race, their language, their religion, their financial status, and even the plants they consume - their place in their community at large being defined by their smaller community of peers.
Why do people use their lives to oppress the lives of other people?
That’s also a valid question.
Between these two questions, I think there is an answer to both.
I have come to believe that humans have the ability to do evil or good, and in that duality, we find our potential. I think the suffering of the world is really only a waste when it is ignored. The suffering of others is meant to stir something in us, something more than our selfishness. Our natural state, from birth, is selfishness. We have hunger, desires. We develop our potential beyond - no... through, that selfishness.
Imagine a world without suffering. We would be a sociopathic people. We would be without love, without caring, without charity - because there would be no need for compassion. There would be no need for love and kindness, no possibility for us to come together, despite our differences.
I spoke with Coby Romero, general manager at KHITZ 107.1, and the primary organizer of this event. We spoke about how this coat drive came to be...
“When we (KHITZ 107.1) teamed up with MTA to do the back to school back pack drive, we had 100 backpacks for one location, and 100 for another location... And, we had over a thousand people show up!
“I didn’t know there was a need this great in the Valley for backpacks and school supplies. So, I started thinking, ‘how many kids need jackets? If this many kids need backpacks and school supplies, how many of these kids also need jackets?'
“We teamed up with Trich Productions... and we started pooling together some cash.”
Teaming up with cannabis industry leaders, to help the poor and disadvantaged - this is a fascinating dynamic. It challenges our perspective about the real people, our neighbors, in the cannabis industry.
The poor are often pushed aside by society, disadvantaged in a social and legal stratification that is defined by finance. If you are poor, you can’t afford justice. Not social justice, but real, actual justice.
The cannabis community, until recently, was a group that also fell between the cracks of reason. Being a cannabis consumer - whether rich or poor - carried a stigma that was a real burden. Many people who consume cannabis have had their children taken away, or have been caged, simply because they chose to consume cannabis, while coffee addicts and alcoholics are ignored by the same system.
Now we are beginning to see a more intellectually consistent perspective of the cannabis community - but not through more laws and legislation. No. That’s not it. The laws and legalities are the source of the labels and lunacy that has loomed over the cannabis community these past 80 years.
No, what we’re seeing, this more recent waning of that stigma, is coming from a more ancient and accepted human institution - love. And with this most recent event, the purest form of love: charity. For time immemorial, charity has been the counter balance of justice. Mercy is the salve, an ointment, to suffering. The law alone, without love, is cruelty.
The heart of charity is to give to those in need. It’s not just about the one who receives, either. Charity is an opportunity for the charitable. This is why government is not effective at charity. Government oppresses the poor, it cages the cannabis consumer. Government is law, not love.
Charity belongs to the People - all of the People.
This coat drive for kids is proof of that. It proves that when it comes to charity, our community, as a whole, can come together and love each other. When we understand that charity is really about the giver, not just the receiver, we see that the poor are of great importance - that human suffering is not without reason. We see that the peaceful cannabis consumer contemplates charity - that is the fruit of their spirit.
I am proud of a community that loves everyone, rich or poor, and doesn’t stigmatize those with different points of view. It’s this type of charitable event, that breaks down those stereotypes, that causes us all to remember the true function of charity.
It’s not just about cold kids, and coats. It’s more than that. It’s about charity as an opportunity to tear down the illusory barriers that separate us.
Charity is the human birthright, and it is the people who have suffered who are most likely to want to alleviate suffering. It's those who have not been loved by their neighbor who most understand the need for the same.
FREE coats and gloves available at:
Grand View Inn & Suites, Wasilla
Noon - 4 pm
The Coats For Kids event, organized by Khitz Karez, and sponsored by Hempire Co., Settlers' Bay Golf Course, Matanuska Cannabis Co., Genesis Barber Shop, High Tide Farms, Rosebud's Shatterhouse, Foley's Irish Green, Good Titrations, KHITZ 107.1, Trich Productions, Green Degree, Bad Gramm3r, Ink Spot, Denali Dispenseries, AK Frost, Alaska Frontier Cannabis, Calm N Collecive, Blueberry Hill, Alaska Precision, Grand View Hotel and Suites, Old School & Buffie, John Nelson, GD Rental Services, and The People's Paper/Make A Scene Magazine
This article was written as part of the Weed Out campaign, an effort to educate the community about the true history and nature of the cannabis plant.