I imagine this post will likely not be received well. First, let me say that any effort to raise money for a cause is worthy of recognition. The term ’cause’ may at times be loosely employed, but I believe at the heart of the matter, people are good and labor under good intentions.
So, here’s my beef with this topic.
I spend a significant of time, money, and energy to raise money for various causes. The details aren’t relevant. What is relevant is my personal effort to try to affect good in this world.
I believe in free will. I readily admit there are people who aren’t interested in supporting a cause. I don’t see this as a character defect. Folks have their own reasons for participating or not, and it’s not up to me to call out their reasons either way, and it’s definitely not up to me to assert judgement on whatever the circumstance may be. I’d love it if everyone were ready, willing and able to support my cause of choice, but what I would love to be is selfish.
My place in this world is to educate people as to why I do what I do for the causes I support. My place is to encourage, gently. My place is to welcome with gratitude any likewise effort, and to accept any lack thereof.
I don’t feel nominating and therefore obligating anyone to my particular cause has a place in philanthropy. By it’s definition, altruism is self directed. It comes from within, not without. It should not be forced. I think it’s fantastic that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is receiving enough attention to hopefully afford research towards a cure. My father died of Multiple Sclerosis, a cousin of ALS. Any advancement is glorious. I am not comfortable with fundraising becoming the latest fad on Facebook or the Today Show. Fads these days quickly become passe. They are seldom sincere, although this is more likely because of the monster fads become because of their snowball effect. Again, raising money is terrific, but if the spirit in which it is intended is lost in the act of fundraising, something else is lost along the way.
I encourage every person to search for a cause they can relate to, and to find a way to contribute. It may be collecting bottles and cans for a local school trip to the Rose Bowl. It may be bringing blankets to the local SPCA. It may be hauling out the closet or attic for items suitable for the local rescue mission. It may be working in a soup kitchen once a month. It may be knitting caps for preemies or crocheting a blanket for Project Linus. Simply speaking, if something speaks to your heart, you will find a way to make a difference. It’s not up to me to tell you what that is. I will encourage and support and may help facilitate if possible, but my heart already speaks to me.
Listen to your heart, and hear what it says. And if it doesn’t say anything, be at peace with that as well. People are inherently good by nature. Last week I paid for the person behind me in the drive through at Dunkin Donuts. That person may be a curmudgeon, but I am not and I felt so good that day, knowing I extended kindness to another. That warm fuzzy feeling is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And if yours is getting a bucket of ice water dumped over your head, I salute you. I won’t participate, but I applaud your own participation. I do ask that you ask people if they are ok with being nominated before they are called out on social media.
Friday brings a close to the work week. I will rest myself this evening with a rousing game of Virtual Families. I give of myself, and this makes me happy. That is all I want. It’s not the same as others, but it’s my happiness, which is all I need to be concerned with.
God bless, and if you have any comment, I welcome it.