Let me preface this by warning you this is a venting piece. Everything I do revolves around Conscious Living Concepts. And this problem I’m talking about flies in the face of these concepts. I practice and teach self-awareness and self-responsibility. You’ll see why this has me so worked up today.
Does it seem like the Go-Fund-Me and “Crowd Funding” requests are getting out of hand?
Today I saw a Go-Fund-Me request to help someone buy an airline ticket to a Caribbean Island for a vacation with her friends. “HU? & WTF?” were the expressions I’m sure I made. It dawned on me that these programs are the new wave of street corner beggars. The only difference is they don’t even need to leave their homes to beg for money. Instead of a bowl or cardboard box, they have a computer, PayPal, and smart phone to track their collections.
Here is how I see it. I’ve worked my entire adult life and some of my adolescence. Before completing my education I had quite a few awful jobs for very little money. I’ve gotten myself into and out of debt. I’ve had to take school and business loans (and pay them back with hard-earned money), and do without during the lean times. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
I believe in being responsible for oneself. So, when I get a request for money, not a loan, mind you, but a give-me-money-for-free-fund, for a business, vacation, or bail money – I’m appalled. I don’t think people get it. We are responsible for our own shit; the mistakes we make, the career or education we do or don’t choose, or the purchases we make. We own it.
It’s hard to watch people try to guilt others, with their sad stories (believe me – we all have a story) into giving them their hard-earned money. They wouldn’t need to ask if it weren’t for the fact they are too lazy or arrogant to cut back their expenses and live in a smaller home, (God forbid you have to live in an apartment), drive an older car, buy fewer new clothes or get rid of their cell phone and cable TV. It just makes me question our societal values. What are we teaching our kids about self-reliance and self-responsibility?
(Another reason our country is in such a financial pickle- even our government thinks this way- they just take it from us and call it “taxes”- but that is for another venting blog)
The New Age Beggar is great at emotional blackmail. They know how to appeal to your sense of guilt. They want you to feel badly about what you have so you’ll feel compelled to give yours to them. Remember the lunch room bully who did that with your cookies? Now they are grown up. They generally dress well, drive a nice car and live in a nice home. They don’t want to “do without” so they ask you to pay for their poor choices. Most likely they’ve blown it in some way- made bad financial, relationship or other life decisions. And now they want YOU to be their solution.
These Cyber Beggars need to get real. Do with less. Sell something. Get a second job (like the rest of us have done when needed) or stop spending. Perhaps you can’t afford a vacation this year? Maybe you need not shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for a few months? Or turn off the $160-a-month cable and read books or play games with your kids in the evenings? Cook at home instead of eating out? All the things my parents’ generation taught us about living without. My parents lived through the depression. They really knew what being “in need” was all about.
My parents taught us to be grateful for what we had and that if we didn’t have the money for something – there was a simple fact we had to face – we didn’t get to have it. We had to wait. We needed to work and save – which meant delaying our gratification.
Too many people are not accustomed to living their lives with this philosophy. They want what they want NOW. And if they can’t get any more credit cards (chances are those have been long gone) they will ask YOU to pay for what they want.
What Really Irks Me…
They ruin it for others. There are people out there using these programs who really do need help. A young mother of three who has a rare & horrific cancer and is undergoing a brutal surgery in hopes of saving her life – She needs our help to pay her medical bills and care for her children. (Emilee was raised in my neighborhood so I know it’s for real).
This family who has two, not one, TWO children sick with a life threatening illness. Their struggles are real. These programs are wonderful for these people who might not otherwise have a wide network of friends and family. Who are too sick or are caring for their sick kids and can’t work.
But now this potentially brilliant way of helping others is being abused.
Pay for my vacation. Buy me a car. Bail me out of jail. Seriously? Please help me understand what makes a person think this is OK. What mental gymnastics does one have to go through to come to the conclusion they should just ask others to pay for what they want? There is a HUGE difference between a WANT and a NEED by the way.
As a Libra and a Yogini my personality is such I can generally see both sides of an equation easily. However, this one has me stumped. If you can shed some light on this for me I’d be grateful.
(Life Code is a great book to read if you are easily bullied or guilt tripped into doing things your inner wisdom says DON’T!)
In the meantime – if you agree, please help me spread the idea that being responsible for yourself means meeting your own needs when you are able-bodied/able-minded – so the call for help by those who really DO need it won’t be camouflaged by these ridiculous cyber beggings.
If you disagree, I’d love to hear why and maybe you will help me see the side I’m unable to see right now. I’m open to learning more.
And, if you are really interested in paying for someone else’s vacation – well, never mind. I’ll pay for my own.
Nancy Sutton Pierce is the creator of Conscious Living Yoga and the Yoga To Go™ Series ~ a practice of waking up to the fullness of your life’s potential through the yoga experience. Since earning her nursing degree in 1983, Nancy has been educating her clients & students about health, well-being, life satisfaction and the personal responsibility for each.
Nancy’s other professional endeavors have included writing the As You Desire Sex & Relationship Column for A News Café (and subsequently for the websitewww.AsYouDesire.net) and hosting her own talk radio show, The Conscious Living Show. She is currently completing her Doctorate Degree in Human Sexuality and will be available for consultations and speaking engagements as a Clinical Sexologist in the Fall 2015.
Married to the love of her life for nearly 22 years, Nancy and her husband Mark have raised three amazing kids into adulthood and now enjoy the blessings of the bonus kids (son and daughter-in-law) and three granddaughters. Together they travel around the world teaching couples workshops in communication, intimacy and bringing back the playfulness in marriage.
Please feel free to Email Nancy with questions or comments NSP@NancySuttonPierce.com
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