I don’t know what kind of parents other people were raised by, but my mum was constantly pushing me to help others. If an old lady had no place to sit on the bus, she would lift me onto her lap or tell me to get up for her. If she saw a child playing alone at the park, she would tell me to go and make friends. Her mantra was, and has always remained, the same – help those in need. Seek out those who need aid and give it.
Over Christmas and in the weeks leading up to it, many anonymous statuses were floating about social media containing pleas from people for food, money, or toys. With us being on the brink of a recession and the prices of everything still climbing, this was to be expected. However, I didn’t factor in the gross unkindness and callousness displayed by many in answer to people’s bids for aid. For every status asking for something, a throng of people were descending and giving their two cents about why people shouldn’t donate. To be honest, it was pretty disgusting.
Now, I’m not so naïve to think that every case is genuine, but honestly, I don’t understand why people can’t at least try to give the benefit of the doubt or just shut up. Yes, there are fraudsters everywhere, but shouldn’t the point be in the action of giving? Do any of us know where all our money is going anyway? God knows I’m certainly not happy with what keeps being done with my tax money, but that doesn’t mean I don’t pay it regardless.
Ultimately, awful, defamatory comments discourage people from helping others for fear that they will be perceived as foolish or stupid or just be ripped off. What’s even sadder is that those few euros people could have donated might have made a world of difference to someone else’s life. Isn’t it humiliating enough for someone to feel like they must ask for money without the extra weight of our judgment? Kindness used to be seen as a virtue, and now many would have you believe it’s a weakness.
We have forgotten the true meaning of community: of giving with no promise or hope of receiving. The next time you see someone asking for something and you don’t want to donate, either keep scrolling or, at the very least, don’t deter others from trying to do a good deed. Someone’s life might depend on it.