Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tis the Season For Tis The Season Blog Title Variations
I have a Facebook friend who is constantly broadcasting her good deeds: How much she volunteers and how much she donates and how much she does for others, with no gain for herself. And I find it perplexingly annoying. If you do a good deed and feel the need to announce it, then that seems to make it a little less altruistic, no? And yet I feel ridiculous lambasting a person who does indeed help others.
This is something interesting I noticed: In NYC, at the food store checkout line, there are little slips of paper that you can rip off and add to your bounty. Each slip is a little under seven dollars and it buys a meal for a homebound person in the city. It is subtle and casual and oh so easy to do. Here in Mass, I was at the grocery story and I nearly ran into, literally (runaway toddler) a giant display of those now lead-filled recycled bags filled with food. You can lift one of these ten pound bags of food and put it into your cart, taking up a good quarter of your cart, then pay for it, and — this is the kicker — put the giant bag in a giant box at the front of the store, to be delivered to a food shelter. Why not just employ the same slip of paper method? Why waste so much space and effort?
This is my very unscientific survey: In the city, I am a the grocery store every day, and frequently waiting on lines, and I have not seen one person take one of those clandestine tickets and buy a homebound persona meal. Not one. But in Mass, every time I am at the food store, I see DOZENS of people lifting those big, showy bags and putting them in their carts. Sometimes, even, two bags. I know there are all sorts of studies about this. Turns out we adults are a lot like kids, and we respond well to recognition and reinforcement for good behavior. “I Voted!” stickers come to mind. And the blood donation stickers. That sort of thing.
And, as long as we re talking about giving, it has always bothered me that some celebrities refuse to do commercials or endorsements, even though they are promised millions of dollars. I always think, why CAN’T you do a commercial for a freaking jewelry line that will be aired only in Japan, and take your $5 million dollar endorsement fee and, I don’t know, build a school? Make a food shelter’s year? Support a library? The celebrities say doing commercials and endormsemt will hurt their career. So what does that say about our society? Are we really going to stop watching someone’s movies because they did a commercial in Japan? It’s all so absurd. I would think that it would help their careers. Instead, pseudo celebrities are taking money for their own gain. Those ridiculous family of sisters have their clothing line and credit cards and TV shows and will show up for the opening on an envelope, especially if they get aid for it, and they are laughing all the way to the bank. Are they sharing? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no.
Something I love about my Massachusetts town is that they just approved in their budget to spend just over 100K to help secure housing for the “6 to 7” homeless people in town who are committed to sobriety. I love that. The local food shelter recently received a 200K donation from a local school janitor, who saved that money his entire life. I love the sense of community here.
So what is the point of this whole post? I have no idea, really. All this is running though my head and the girls are sleeping and I have the luxury to raamble on.
Pictured above, I took the girls to Friendly’s. About halfway through our meal, a Veteran (he was wearing one of those war hats) came over and gave me a coupon for a free kid’s meal. It made me cry. Here is this hunched over man, who gave his time to serve our country and even now, in his old, old age, he is still giving. What can I say? I’m feeling sentimental these days. Meanwhile, the sundae looked nothing like the picture on the menu! False advertising. Who can I sue?