Tuesday, 26 July 2011

You're doing it wrong

Am I the only person who feels like cutting myself after having to say "Sorry, I can't help you" when people ask for a donation? I understand that it's so difficult for donation collectors to solicit money in a society that has become increasingly apathetic. But, it is entirely unkind for donation collectors to make passers-by feel terrible about themselves when they insinuate that we have no kindness in our hearts to give to charity —absolutely none.

Can I request that they please get off their moral high-horse and join the rest of civilization down here? Brash unthoughtful statements like "Don't tell me you can't afford to give even a dollar when you're carrying a designer shopping bag" could be way out of line because what you see is rarely ever what you think you know. You don't know what sort of day a passer-by at random may have had, or what story they might have been coming from.

Often people say things to strangers with only their objective in mind: in this case, to collect as much donations —which is good. But sometimes, that objective shrouds their ability to humanize the individuals that are standing right before them. Individuals who could have just been wandering aimlessly around the mall to get distracted from a bad day they've had: maybe they've just lost someone they love, relishing time away from an abusive relationship at home, or they could just have been suffering from a bout of depression. Maybe that stranger was just caught on a bad day, who, on every other day, is a philanthropist. Or maybe, that person really just doesn't carry any cash. Whatever it is, the least anyone would expect from a donation-collector is that they show the same kindness to the people they approach for money as they would show to the needy. That's all.

I went home on Sunday depressed & wanting to hurt myself just because some chick made me think that I was less human than she was, on top of everything else that happened that day. Thinking back, I might have been unkind for that moment where I turned charity down, but that donation collector was so much more damaging with her cruel words.
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