Can People Just Be Humble About Charity, Please?

Facebook ruins everything. First it ruined socialising by wearing a clever disguise and being called a ‘social networking site’, then it ruined any sport event in the world. The Olympics? Ruined. World Cup? Ruined. Wimbledon? Ruined. Simply because there are far too many statuses about it. Now Facebook is ruining charity. Why? 

Well, Facebook is really just a website that allows you to brag about how good your life is to all the people you used to go to school with. On it we brag about friendships, of relationships, new cars (and how much we spent on them), holidays, clothes (and how much we spent on them- in fact someone on my facebook posted about how they bought two pairs of jeans for £120 each pair, when in actual fact they were on sale at £40 for both. As he admitted later in the comments), and now instead of appearing superficial and braggy we want to look charitable and generous which is where the whole thing comes from. 

On Tuesday my area took part in a Race For Life which, for those unfamiliar, is a ‘run’ hosted by Cancer Research UK, to raise money for the cause and pay tribute to those who have suffered from cancer. See, a good cause, and it’s being ruined. 

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Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that Facebook exists so that people can raise awareness to charities and events for them, and how good it is for spreading the world, I’m not THAT much of a meanie! But seriously, people just need to be humble about these things. 

Since Tuesday I have seen just about everyone on my timeline post a sweaty after-run race bragging about either a) how fast they ran, b) who they ran with or c) how much money they raised. It just reminded me of the make-up less selfies that went around the world the other month to raise money for the same charity. A good cause, ruined.

The thing with the selfie thing is that, despite being hidden under a mask of good-will it was still selfish. For one there was the ‘tagging’ thing, which brought up your friends and basically said ‘ha! I was kinder before YOU’, and yes maybe I am a little bit bitter about that because I was never tagged because I have no ‘friends’ and whatnot, but still. Next is the selfie in general. People were actually refusing to take part in this because they didn’t look good without make-up and that is a selfish thing to add to what is meant to be a selfless thing. In the end people were posting WITH make-up which stripped away the point, it then became a game of ‘show us how pretty you are’ and that sucked. And then thirdly there was the charity aspect where it was all about oneupmanship. First you didn’t have to donate, just raise awareness, then SOMEONE did and everyone else needed to look just as kind. 

Oh, look. My friend donated £5, I need to show her up and donate £50! 

Suddenly, everyone was not just donating, but talking about how much they raised. There were hundreds being given. Suddenly it was all about the spare money you had to give away and how much you spent. That sucked more. DON’T GET ME WRONG IT WAS A GREAT CAUSE AND MILLIONS WERE RAISED BUT WHERE IS THE HUMBLE PIE! 

But I digress. That’s the thing with this Race For Life, it’s become a matter of looking good to other people, people that you don’t actually care about but want to impress, because for some reason society is so superficial about our image that we can’t even keep something respectful unscathed. Since Tuesday (that’s literally only two days) everyone has had to say “I’ve had so much fun running at the Race For Life for Cancer Research UK with my best friends. I did it in just thirty seconds (aren’t I miraculous) and have donated a bajillion pounds because I am THAT generous! P.S. Here is my tee-shirt and pink Nike Airs that cost a bunch specially for this occasion.” Jeez! (that being said, my school had to stop ‘charity dress-up days’ in sixth form because people were spending more money on their costumes than they were giving, which is SO not the point)

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I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I was talking to Ed about it earlier and he thinks the same as his timeline was also littered, and not even for the right reasons. I’m all glad that they did something good, and am very happy that such a worth-while charity is getting such recognition, but I can not express how sad I am that it has come to this. 

Whatever happened to just texting a number to donate £1 like they do on Red Nose Day, or giving your clothes to charity shops, whatever happened to generally being generous out of the kindness of your heart and because you want to do good. (I’m sure that many people who took part in the race for life did do it out of good-will, too, I’m just saying) Why can’t we just send in a cheque nowadays without having to cause a ruckus over the number that was written on it? I’m not saying these people were bad because they did the Race For Life, definitely not, and I would have taken part myself if I ever managed to keep up with these sorts of events, because I genuinely believe in the things that the charities try to do. I’m just saying that the song and dance that people have made over the whole thing has turned it all into some kind of show, more than ever because we have somewhere we can easily talk about it without having to wait for the moment to arise, a place where EVERYONE can see, and the humbleness has sort of disappeared. 

I think it will be mean to write such a post, without having donated any money so I will, because I want to. And I urge you to do the same as well, I want everyone reading this to pick a charity, any charity and donate some money, whether it is just a pound, or a hundred, I simply don’t care. But if you do, please do it because you are being kind, not because you want to look good. And please don’t tell me how much you have given, and please do not post it on Facebook.