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The Bang Bang Theories

A Whole Bunch of Nothin’

I’ve been having an internal debate with myself for the past few days. See, one of my not-written-down-but-spoken-aloud Twenty-Ten Resolutions has been to “Give” this year. Give from a pure place, to anyone/situation that strikes me as in need of a little bit of unexpected help, and learning from Kenny to give a little more generously than what is comfortable. Now, not crazy-giving-away-the-house stuff, but a month’s worth of gas in the car – that type of giving.

And so it began. My first opportunity struck me a bit odd, it was a group email solicitation for financial assistance from someone I’ve met a couple of times, she doesn’t work because of something. The second time was giving to a true stranger who I read was having an ongoing struggle of financial hardships due to unemployment. “But for the grace of God” and all that jazz. Ya know?

So I sent a check to one who asked for help, and made a Paypal online donation to the other. Now, I’m not disclosing all this for anyone at all to say, “Wow, how nice!” or even “Wow, what a sucka!” – but merely to point out the end result.

Not one thank you has been issued.

Is the expectation of a “thank you” when you’ve opened up your wallet and sent money to someone for doing absolutely nothing not “true” giving? I don’t know. Maybe. I see that the check was cashed, (immediately) so it’s not as if it wasn’t received, or the person has been too sick to respond.

It galls me just a wee bit that someone can email a solicitation for financial help, or even have a “donate” button on their website after they’ve poured out their hardships for all the world to read, but can’t take a moment to email over a “Thanks, it’s appreciated.” Kinda like my nephews and their birthday and Christmas gifts ‘o cash. Seriously, have bad manners just taken over society to this degree?

Kenny asked me how these folks can be so hard-up for money but still have Internet access. Good question, but I have to admit I would be inclined to lump that under “necessity” rather than “luxury” myself, but it does pose a good question. Kinda like the friend I had who was unemployed for more than a year and kept hitting me up for cash, laundry detergent and groceries and then wanted to chat about the latest episode of Sex & The City, which was on a PAY cable channel. Yeah, kinda like that. We’re no longer friends, by the way. I see a lot of truths here: “Never mix friendship and money” – yeah, and “A sucka and her money are soon parted.”

But I tried. I tried to be true and good and giving, my Oprah-quoted “Random Act of Kindness.” Maybe I’m not cut out for it. Because yes, it does piss me off that you can’t use your pay-for-Internet service to send me an e-thanks.

One thought on “A Whole Bunch of Nothin’

  1. We are cut from the same cloth!

    I 100% agree with everything you wrote. I, too, made a donation to the blog of someone who is clearly down and out … and, a month later, have heard nothing. Not one word. Not even a 20-second e-mail of thanks. I think that's crass and rather insulting. I won't be donating there again, even though my instinct is to help, some how, some way.

    However … I try to remember that it's not about the thanks, it's about the generosity. It's about opening myself up to give. Sometimes difficult to remember, but I try.

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