Give More? And How?

17 Nov

It was a bit of a toughie for us.  Making the geographical move from parenting in a desperately poor developing nations…to raising kids in a sickeningly materialistic, wasteful and ‘Me Me Me’ and ‘Mine Mine Mine’ culture….

How do you bridge the gap? How do you teach your kids that there is more to changing the gross balance between ‘East and West’, between ‘North and South’ than just chucking a few quid in the sponsored Monster Charity Our School Tells Us to Help Out for one day a year…

Don’t get me wrong. Giving ANYTHING is most welcome. But it is TIME and COMMITMENT that most charities need. And it is the SMALL charities that need this – far, far more than the Biggies do.

My photo here illustrates a bridge between three generations in a chilly old warehouse in Northern England. A Grandma and a Granddaughter packing wee boxes with tiny, shiny, cheap-but-thrilling little pressies.

Yes for this particular period in time and in this particular photograph, the twosome are helping out a BIG charity but (I know) that this 68 year old and this 8 year old both also help out much smaller charities.  Sixty years between them and yet a similar mindset.  They have given up many, many DAYS of their time to do this kind of thing over the last few years…

Neither of them are Saints. (Like their mother, like their daughter who is writing this and who is far, far from it and who is cringing at actually writing this post for fear of sounding sanctamonious, like the kind of Do-Gooder that I truly believe that I am NOT… I am sure that both older and younger female get their own personal, psychological benefits from giving their time and energy to a charity.

Let’s face it. We don’t give unless we get something back. Even it if just a tiny crumb of a reminder of what it is to be human. To feel good about having spent a second on someone, on something else than Us.

But let’s just forget the Whys and Wherefores of giving. Let’s go beyond what everyone else does, is doing – or expects us to do. Let’s get a wee bit more creative and a spend a wee bit more time than we can actually ‘afford’.

As a certain person said, rather a long time ago ‘Go and Do Likewise.’

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4 Responses to “Give More? And How?”

  1. Bathilda December 2, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    This is one of my friends from Singapore being ‘gnomed’ for about a fiver:

    Probably best not viewed too many times, or else you’ll go over to the dark side of enjoying it!
    I’m sure that this is some form of bizarre sadism, where students think it’s okay — and moreover encouraged — to do this kind of stuff. It’s especially worrying when they start to think that this *defines* charity, rather than at least just being some weird off-shoot.

  2. Bathilda Ungurikka November 21, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Hi!
    I’ve been meaning to talk with you for a long time about the concept of giving more in a meaningful way. At Warwick uni, there is something called ‘gnoming’ for charity. Identity-concealed students tie other students to trees using cling film and then chuck flour and baked beans at them, then run off. They do this when a donation is made to charity. This seems to me the exact opposite of charity, and it is quite blatant that people pay for the service of having other students humiliated — the thought of charity probably doesn’t even enter their mind, even though that’s where the money’s going to (beyond the cost of the baked beans et c). Anyway, I’d like to keep in touch and talk about how to make a *real* difference. Can you maybe send a quick email to @@@@ at inbox dot com, where @@@@ is my first name, but with the first letter replaced with the number 1, so then we have some way of keeping in touch. Hopefully that makes sense + you can work out who I am! — I just don’t want to give my email address out on a public forum!

    • funnylass November 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Been a bit overflowed with new ‘checking in’ friends on this blog who don’t want to commit themselves to their online I.D or affiliation. So excuse the delay as it has all been a little bit unusual here at ‘funnylass’! More than happy to hear from you rather smart people – wherever you are from.
      Suffice to say whether you track me down via charitable, social enterprise or own (personal) views on things – I thrive on the words of others.And yes – dear pal above would love to hear more about how strange, skewed and disconnected the very human need ‘to give’ is becoming ….

    • Funny Lass November 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      Why am I not surprised to hear this….?
      Dear oh Dear. I thought Higher Education was about…..erm. Higher Education? Sheesh…

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