Your guilt won’t work on me

Yesterday I started working with another charity.  As unfortunately typical and predictable as it is, I met the apparent Martyr of the group.  You know the one.  The one who claims to not want special recognition, yet complains about how the others in the group don’t do NEARLY as much as the Saint Volunteer of the Entire World does.  This one shows up first, leaves after everyone else, and makes sure everyone knows how hard he or she works.

Hey, Good For You!  I do things because I WANT to do them.  When I’m giving my time or money to charity, take what I’m giving you, know that it’s sincere, say Thank You (if you want, it doesn’t matter to me – I’m not doing it for you), and don’t fucking push me or that’s all you’ll get from me.

In this most recent case, since I have so much free time right now, I decided to work with a non-profit group doing one thing for them.  I do it because it’s something I really enjoy doing, and it made my day to learn that I could help people out by doing something I absolutely love to do.  Yes, I know the group needs help with other things.  Other groups need help, too.  I’m choosing to do this one thing for many hours for this one charity right now.  If you start pushing me to do more, I will leave.

We all have 24 hours in each day, for as many days as we’re alive.  What we choose to do with our time is extremely personal.  I think it’s very sad that some people feel terribly guilty for all of the things they CAN’T do.

Here, have a quote.  It’s free!

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

     —   John Wooden

I don’t understand the logic in doing things I hate.  If you’re doing something you hate, hating the people around you – vilifying people who don’t do what you hate doing – stop doing it!  The world really isn’t going to collapse if that particular thing doesn’t get done.  Chances are, if you don’t do it, someone else will.  Maybe even someone who LIKES doing that thing.  If not, was it really that important for it to get done?  Could you have tried harder to find people who wanted to do the thing, instead of bitching and trying to change people who didn’t?  You’re being an asshole, and you might be causing more harm to the group you’re claiming to care about with your pissy attitude.

There are a LOT of people in this world.  There are a lot of weird people in this world.  I like eating dill pickles with ketchup on them.  Gross, right?  Not to me.  I think it’s amazing.

The first time I hired someone to clean my house for me I felt super weird.  I almost felt like I was doing something wrong, sitting there on my ass while someone I didn’t even know cleaned my house.  I felt guilty!  Then I realized that some people actually enjoy cleaning.  It blew my mind.  I can’t think of much I hate more than cleaning.  Thankfully, the world is full of people, and some of them enjoy cleaning.  These are the people I hire to clean my house.

I don’t talk about that much in the “real” world.  I learned rather quickly that a lot of people get angry because I have the audacity to hire people to clean my house.  Hey, guess what – I don’t cook my own food or wash the dishes I use when I eat at a restaurant, either.  What’s the fucking difference?

The point is, I do what I can, and I have likes and dislikes.  Just like everyone else.  It’s not usually helpful to compare what one person does with what someone else does.  Unless it’s an actual competition.  Sure, I “only” volunteered for 4 hours this week while SVotEW probably did 50+ hours.  But someone else didn’t do anything – ever.  And that’s okay!  I “only” have $100 out in Kiva loans right now, too.  I could go on about that, and other contributions I’ve made, pointing out that I have no income at the moment.  And I could rail against some rich dude who hasn’t donated any of his time or money.  But what’s the point?  He does what he does, and I’m sure people benefit from it.  If nothing else, he provides an example of the freedom that being rich can give.  Maybe he gives anonymously.  I need to learn how to do that.

It drives me crazy when charities I’ve donated to spam me with all kinds of campaigns and shit to try to get me to donate again.  I’ve stopped contributing to most of them at this point, even though I generally support what they do, or I wouldn’t have given them money in the first place.  But they pushed me, so I cut them off.  Once I get over being pissed off at them, I’ll find out how to donate anonymously and do that.  I don’t give to charities for recognition or tax breaks.  I do it because I have something they need and I like sharing (sometimes).  Again, your guilt won’t work on me.  Sending me pictures of sad kittens is going to upset me.  It’s not going to prompt me to give you money to help them.  I know they’re out there.  I know they’re suffering.  That’s why I sent money to you in the first place.  Punishing me for giving to your charity by sending me images that upset me is NOT going to get you more money.  At least not from me.  I toss your mailings without even opening them now, because it’s depressing and sad, and it pisses me off that you’re spending money to print and send all that shit when you could’ve used that money for other things.  Yes, I know there’s a reason you do it.  I know about conversion rates and basic marketing and all that.  I’m just saying, they’re wasting their time and money on me, and it annoys me.

I’ll have a talk with the SVotEW if the negativity continues.  My initial reaction was so visceral that I almost quit on the spot.  I don’t want to work with a group unless it is predominately helpful and optimistic.  Fortunately, I know that a group is more than it’s shittiest member, and I want to give this a chance.  Maybe I can even help SVotEW to chill out a bit.  You never know!

One Response

  1. Sharon
    Sharon August 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm |

    Ugh, I hate the constant solicitations. They’ve followed me now through five addresses in two states. Isn’t there a group somewhere trying to save all these wasted, dead trees?

    Besides, there’s just so much to feel guilty about I have a hard time keeping up.


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