I’m writing this mostly in response to some posts I’ve seen on Plurk about the Love Ulaa fundraiser I was involved in but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while as negativity always seems to pop up when such events are held. Like I’ve said time and time again, one of the things I love about Second Life is that people come together to help each other out in awesome and amazing ways. The flipside to this is that there are some that treat that with suspicion and distaste – calling the recipient’s life into question and making those who contribute out to be gullible fools.
I wanted to reply on Plurk, but it’s a restrictive forum and I always end up getting wordier than I intend. So I’m posting this here and will link back where appropriate.
People who ask for help (or have fundraisers arranged for them, etc) are just that – people asking for, or seen to be in need of, help. They are not accountable to anyone – they are not registered charities who need to present their accounts or justify their causes. They are simply people who are brave enough to say, ‘do you know what, guys, things are really difficult for me right now.’
No one is obliged to give them anything and I know I don’t give anything I can’t afford.. my personal responsibilities have to come first. But what I do contribute, I do with a happy heart, whatever the ‘goal’ of the cause, if it’s something that resonates with me (and I have the luxury of deciding what that is.) I don’t mind if it’s something people consider ‘worthy’ or essential or just something that would make someone’s life better right now. And, if it’s the case where I’m buying an item whose proceeds happen to go to a cause – if it’s something I want anyway that’s no different from shopping regularly and I don’t ask store owners what they’re doing with the money – I don’t need to because it will be buying food, paying rent, replacing computer parts, taking holidays, shopping themselves etc.. normal stuff that people do. Shopping at or donating to fundraisers does not buy me a ticket to scrutinize that person’s life from then on – I’ve decided to give, the way in which the person in receipt of what I’ve given chooses to use it is up to them. Priorities or circumstances may change for all I know.
No one likes to think they might be duped, scammed, etc but I think that is mostly a case of hurt pride in feeling that we’ve allowed ourselves to be deceived. If it happens, isn’t it better to move on and remember that we wanted and were able to help and how good that feels? There are malicious scams preying on the vulnerable, of course there are, and they do need to be stopped but pointing the finger at anyone who dares to say ‘I need help’ is not the way to do that.
I don’t know for sure, obviously, but it doesn’t feel like the people who spread this negativity are people who decided to help Ulaa (or others) and are feeling disappointed.. I think they are people that feel a sense of jealousy – why not me, isn’t everyone’s life hard? Shouldn’t everyone be deserving of some help from time to time? The answer is yes, of course.. but unless we cultivate a climate in which people feel it’s ok to reach out to one another to give and receive help and love then that’s not going to happen.
If anyone disagrees with me that’s obviously your right – this is simply my opinion. I won’t be entering into a debate about it – I’ve said what I wanted and I have issues with depression that means conflict really takes its toll on me.. it was hard enough to write this. I do, however, wish you all well <3