This was written to me privately in response to one of my latest posts concerning entitlements.

Gene’s Letter

I value the concept of Square Foot Gardening.  I am extremely dissapointed when the author, on his blog, says that people should not be given entitlements. Rather they should be taught to take care of themselves. This is an extreme right wing, Republican view. Politics should not enter into this concept of gardening. I am offended by Mel’s political views that sholuld be kept to himself. Sorry, he’s not on my Christmas list.

Mel’s Answer

Thank you Gene for your letter and point of view.  Let’s talk a little about this.  I can’t think of a better way to help others than showing them how to enhance their future and gradually learn to take care of themselves and family by growing some of their own harvest.  Rather than a political point of view as you suggest, I think it is a Christian or Humanitarian view.  After all, where does the story come from that teaching a man to fish is a solution rather than just feeding him a fish.
My point is that the word entitlement (to give somebody the right to have something) is that it usually creates dependency (The state of being dependent for support.)  Rather than take me off your Christmas list, Gene, we could best serve our fellow man by teaching them to become self-sufficient over the long run. This could be our Christmas gift to the world.
That is our SFG Foundations mission, to end World Hunger by encouraging everyone to grow a little of their own. It’s a start but  powerful solution that could work. Certainly giving surplus food to the hungry is a wonderful but temporary philosophy that has been tried for centuries of history but never worked as a solution. Would you help us work together to give this new SFG idea a try.