Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Paid Forward?

As an eternal skeptic, I am VERY particular about those that I choose to help. Why help starving kids in Africa when there are starving kids right here?

I know that sounds evil but look at it this way. Either way, you are helping a starving kid. Chances are, unfortunately, that this starving local kid will survive to live a better life than those in poverty in 3rd world countries.

Why does this matter or why would it make a difference?

I think of it like grass growing on two lawns. On one side of the fence there is a healthy lawn with a small dry patch. On the other, there is dirt and rock with a small little patch of grass miraculously growing in the rough.

On the nice lawn there is a dry patch with a tiny little blade of grass. If I water that blade, it will grow and that blade, though it will never come in contact with the patch in the rough lawn, may eventually help improve the entire lawn that may spread and support that rough lawn in the long run.

I am not saying we should turn our backs on hopeless causes, I just don't think spitting at an inferno is going to make much of a difference. That and the off chance that someone might actually be making a profit off the suffering of these innocent people keeps me from sending money their way.

When I actually SEE change and good causes making a difference, then I make the effort. Child's Play for example. Children's Hospital's. You donate a gift and ship it right to them straight from Amazon. I have done my share of good deeds in the past but I usually restrained myself from any monetary donations. I just can't trust people. They can be so evil. This year though it was different. I found a charity I trusted and donated with the best intentions.

I am not really liked at work. Not on a personal level but because of what I do. It comes with the responsibility and I deal with it well. Oddly enough, the year that I do more than I ever have for others, this happens.

There is an employee that I deal with a lot. They are a...point of contact, so to speak. Just yesterday they asked me to come to their office. I expected a Christmas card or something like that and that is exactly what I received. I don't expect anything nor do I feel I deserve anything. But this time I was really surprised with what I found in that card. I opened it and my first surprise was the humongous amount of signatures in it. Nearly everyone in her department signed it. This struck me as amazing because these are the same people that I frequently have to lay the law down with. Aside from that, $80 in cash fell out of it.


I was flabbergasted. What!?! Never in my entire career have I received a gift like that. Just for doing my job and doing a job that makes people dislike you sometimes.

A little part of me feels that this happened because of the stuff I have been doing lately. A big part of me wants to donate it. This isn't my money. Another little part of me knows though, that we really are going to need that money soon. After speaking about it with my wife I decided just to be graceful and grateful. I can't help but feel I owe the world $80.


The Diva on a Diet said...

What a wonderful holiday surprise, Hektik! You have the best of intentions in wanting to donate it - though I think you should keep it. Its lovely to know that you have been thought of and remembered and its ok to keep it, especially if you're going to need it soon.

Happy Holidays!

ryan said...

nice! there are cards and then there are CARDS. sounds like you got one of the good ones.

this christmas i couldn't be with my family. so i decided to get a big gift for someone else i knew who wouldn't have a family celebration and wouldn't get any gifts. it was really fun and felt good. i think giving that gift was a way of giving myself a gift.

Rebecca Rodgers said...

This is an incredible, moving post.
Apparently you are liked a lot more than you realize.

Happy Holidays to you!!

jewlover2 said...

Haha. That first sentence could have been written by me. I am also VERY skeptical by nature...even wrote a blog entry about two years ago entitled 'I Choose To Be Skeptical'. Yeah, I'm one of those people who wonders why, if man went to the moon, they havent gone again?? Hmmmm.

Anyway, I am also VERY choosey to whom I 'give'. It's a touchy subject but I never give money in the little jars or whatever...I'd much rather see where my money is going if that's possible. Or mail it to them directly. In other words, I agree. heh heh.

Have a good'n.

Dawnie said...

sometimes it seems just when we have given up on being appreicated or understood for what we try to do right--something like this will happen...that will give us just what we need to keep doing what we were trying to do all along. and sometimes its just ok to use the gift for ourselves or our own families...in fact I've become a firm believer in taking care of myself or my family first--i feel its an obligation to make sure ours is well taking care of. kinda like how can be of any good to anyone if we are not at a good place ourself???

What a neat gift--the signatures alone would have made me cry.