In this day and age, giving back is more important than ever. While I think one should always make an effort to give back in one way or another, there are times when it’s just downright silly.
More on that in a moment.
Over the years, I’ve always attempted to give. Whether it was donating to a cause I believe in, or sponsoring somebody raising money etc., I feel it’s necessary as a society.
For a long time, I helped run a team at our local Relay for Life. For a couple of years, I was even on the committee. Our team always used to come up with some fun things for the event and it was a good way to give. We always raised quite a bit for our small group.
Over time, though, that Relay took on a new look and the event we all used to love kind of transformed into something that was no longer fun, so we stopped as a team.
I did still try to give and help raise money as my mother remained on the committee for a few more years and did her own “team” of one to raise money. Being my father died of cancer, it was an important cause for us.
Then there are times when you just wonder where your money goes.
I love to give to local animal shelters when I can. I try to figure what could be best, though for a couple of years around Christmas, I’d donate money. I knew where that was going. This past December, I helped our local dog club run a toy/supply drive for two of our area shelters.
But sometimes people get swayed by those television commercials. Let’s take for example, the ASPCA. I’m not going to go deep into this because it’s all over if you do a simple Google search. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give to the ASPCA, but maybe giving local is better. The CEO for the ASPCA makes upward of $750K a year, for a non-profit. It seems, based on a study, that an average CEO for a non-profit is around $125K. Do the math.
I’d much rather give locally and know the money goes to something around me.
And now to the silly.
Let me first say, I’ve “paid it forward” before. I’ve bought somebody their coffee. Or I’ve done something a little bigger, in a way to give back to humanity and to show the good in people can still happen. But sometimes, it gets a bit out of hand.
Have you heard of these “drive-thru” pay-it-forward deals? Apparently they have been pretty popular at Starbucks. Basically, it works where a car pays for the order behind them. Then that person gets asked if they want to continue the chain.
You can see where this is going.
So people continue this feel-good moment. Some people might get a deal. Some not so much. But where does it end? Somebody has to end it, right?
Consider this – you drive up to grab a cup o’ Joe before work. You’re expecting to pay whatever silly cost it takes to get said cup at Starbucks. All of a sudden you’re told the car before you paid for yours, so would you like to continue the chain and pay for the person behind you?
Let me stop for a moment and put this into context. You are, at this point, being put in a bad spot. You don’t mind giving back or paying it forward, but you are basically being put on the spot to pay for somebody else.
So you look in your rear-view mirror and see a car of four college kids. You ask how much their order is and all of a sudden it’s four drinks and a few other things and their bill is upward of 35 bucks.
How do you respond?
I don’t pay for it. Sorry, but I’m not spending a ton more than I expected when all I wanted was a drink to take to work.
People seem to get all snotty about this on social media, too.
The problem with things like this is that it’s not giving back. It’s doing something to make yourself feel better because you think it’s fun. In that situation. I would have given what my drink cost and driven off.
There’s a difference between giving back and being silly.
So how about all of you? What do you like to do to give back?
This post is part of the 2022 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge hosted by A ‘lil HooHaa. Please check out the links (intro I themes) if you’d like to see the setup and themes! You don’t have to do every theme if you don’t want to! And for those participating, take a moment and check out the other participants!