I’d like to rant a bit about a new trend I’m seeing… well, everywhere. It has blown up with the help of a website I’ve referenced in the title of this entry. I will not name names, mostly because my readers have the common sense to figure it out for themselves and also because I don’t want to direct any more traffic to that site than necessary.
For those living under rocks, the new trend involves begging others for money to pay for a dream vacation, a house remodel, a move, bills, or anything you can think of. Shamelessly.
What happened to personal responsibility? Setting a goal and saving up for it, if one can’t afford it right away? Why should I, as your friend/total stranger be badgered into paying for your lifestyle choice in the name of “charity”? I think we need to take another look at the definition of “charity”.
From our friends at Merriam-Webster:
the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.
: an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.
: the organizations that help people in need
If one were to look at that website’s front page today, of the top 12 most popular, 5 are collecting to offset medical expenses for humans. Two others are collecting to offset veterinary expenses for dogs. One is to extend a wish made by the “Make a Wish” foundation for a child. Another is collecting to build a playground at a hospice hospital. One is a memorial to cover a child’s funeral expenses. One to send a cancer survivor on vacation to Hawaii. One is trying to fund an invention. All heart-wrenching causes, to be sure, but others are more than questionable. Sending a birthday boy to Universal in FL? Buy me a PS4 for my birthday? “I’m moving, pay for my flight?” “Send me to meet XYZ!”
How about, no.
For me, gift giving is fun. I like to take the time to shop, pick out something I think the recipient will enjoy, wrap it up all pretty, write a special message, and give it to him. I like to watch his face when he opens it. For this reason, I don’t like to give money and only rarely will I give gift cards. I prefer surprise, even when a gift is expected for something like a birthday or Christmas.
I don’t like to give to gimme-pigs.
This website is just one more example of the entitlement culture many millennials (my generation, I’m very sorry to say) have. The thought-process that leads to expecting a raise or promotion just for showing up to work every day. The culture that started with everyone getting a trophy and the elimination of competition. Instant gratification and the loss of personal responsibility.
There’s an old, old saying that goes something like this: “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” I agree. Need a few extra thousand dollars to pursue your dream? Get a second (or third) job. Sacrifice. Save. Throw all that change in a piggy bank – a literal one if it makes you feel better about it. (Yes, I have one, and it’s painted to look like Raphael from TMNT.) Dreamer – fund thyself.