27 Dec

I went to a store over the weekend. Things were all glittery with christmas festivities represented everywhere by stripes of red and white. I thought to myself, the american flag is red and white striped too. Is there any relation as to why US of A and Santa chose the same color? Anyway, I completed my shopping, after a long 10 minutes of stroll of which 90% was spent in trying to figure out the aisle to find what I wanted. Finally, I found my way to the paying counter. The lady at the counter was wearing christmassy suit to reflect joy when in reality was looking rather serious. May be, she just wanted to get the hell out of there and find her solace at her home with her family and friends. She started scanning all the items. “Is that all, Sir”, she asked with a monotonicity that only folks at the counter can come up with. I said, “No, thanks”… As I said it, I wondered, why is there a custom to add thanks to an otherwise, display of negative answer. She was trying to sell me more which meant more profit to the store. It is not like she was going to give something for free? A simple “No” would have been sufficient, I thought. While my thoughts meandered over my own revelations of the world, she interrupted again. She asked me, “Would you like to buy one of these cards. They are for Children Education..” and the remaining words just vaporized before it reached my already feeble ear. I looked around and everyone in the line were looking at me. The guilty consciousness in my mind kicked in. It seemed like everybody was looking at me trying to convey something with their faces. A voice sounded in my head, “Aren’t you going to help out a kid who probably doesnt have parents and the only thing in the entire world for the kid to look upto is to study and create a life?”… Not that I am averse to making donations, but, the lady at the counter pulled a weak nerve of mine which fluttered and cried out for help in the quietest way possible manifesting itself as a thoughtful facial expression. As it did, I couldnt help but notice the bold “$1” sign in the card. It is nothing compared to a lot of insignificant things that I do for myself… It probably costed them atleast 5-10 cents to just print the card. The kid’s picture in the card looked pitiable. Without much thought, I said “Ok”. I started thinking, how many times am I coerced into doing something “good” only when put on spotlight? How many times have I volunteered myself into doing some act of goodness just out of my own will? Is it just that we do good things just so that we will look like a better person in other’s eyes. Does it matter?


Posted by on December 27, 2007 in From AM-KICKING blog


2 responses to “Spotlight

  1. BrainWaves

    December 30, 2007 at 1:55 am

    It is really a tough spot to be in.
    But most charities are collected by that way only. (with different shades are spotlights)

    Even in case of things like ASHA, if you decide not to give you feel like someone is putting a spotlight (or I feel they will judge me). It will take a while to realize it doesn’t matter.

    Because all the priorities going around, for me, it needs little bit of prodding to give to charities. And based on my mood I do or don’t mind these requests.

  2. Saumya

    December 31, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Well..I do not like this method of asking for money. I detest having to say “No” to put in a dollar to help fight breast cancer/feed the hungry at Safeway. Simply because I don’t like the way it is asked, and I have no idea whether the money is being put to proper use. Yes, I still walk out feeling like everybody is looking at the selfish me.

    One day, I observed people, and I noticed that many people chose not to give. And, they did not seem abashed by their answer either. Maybe they think that way about me when I do refuse.


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