Thursday, 23 January 2014

Why Do We Care?

I like to gamble, I know I am not alone in this past time, but ever since I was legally able to do so, I found myself enjoying the chance to put money on the line in an effort to win more of it. Multiply my opportunity with a little luck and some capitalist vibes.

I have always wanted to win the lottery as well, but for me I suppose winning the lottery will never become a reality, mainly because of what I intend to do with it. I have always said that if (when) I do win the millions of dollars, I will put the money aside and invest it into a series of projects that will help my local community and overall as many people as possible. Invest it into people so that not only do they have the chance to live a better life, but are also given a helping hand to grow and prosper on their own.

Sounds idealistic eh? I know it may sound farfetched, but I have to ask why, how can we not view something as positive as the redistribution of lottery winnings as a good thing? Why is it so hard to give to others in the general sense?

Winning the lottery is a dream that many people share, however it appears that for many people the option to give and care about other people outside their immediate family only becomes a reality, when their own situation becomes more stable. Having the financial freedom to choose is a powerful tool, but I put forward the question for everyone to reflect on regarding individual charity from average people to those in need.

Why do you donate to a cause or volunteer? Are you financially stable in your life or do you also have a lot of debt?

While it seems easy to simply state that volunteering or giving to others is easy for the health benefits it provides, realistically the majority of people actually going out and helping are doing so because of their own stability. What makes this important to discuss is that in the current economy, where job security is low and income equally as low, is the way we care about others and the donations we put forward evolving right in front of our own eyes?

I have a lot of experience from the past witnessing company events and union fundraisers that allowed employees from a primarily middle class income bracket to donate to a good cause without really hurting their own situation. If anything, these events in my opinion also served as a good tool to increase company productivity and overall workmanship. Nothing says team/family like coming together for a good cause and actually doing something.

Now, take a look at the majority of jobs being created today. A lot of these positions are contract or part time in nature, they operate in mostly a service oriented environment and cater to individuals of equal or higher net worth financially. For example: Working in a boutique or for a big box store like Costco.

I found it interesting to see an example of modern day charity from a Walmart of all places. You may remember in the news that a Walmart was hosting a canned food drive in it's stores for employees that relied heavily on food banks. This example to me does not appear to be an isolated one, as many positions today do not pay close to a living wage, which not only makes it more difficult to pay the bills, but also to have any desire to do more for the community aside from survive.

With the economy evolving and becoming more capitalist, how are we as a people supposed to invest in ourselves or our community, when we can barely have enough time to work long enough to pay the bills, while try to care for our own families? Not to mention that the disparity between the right and poor continues to grow almost on a daily basis now and with recent movements to push for equality between the 1% and the 99%, I feel the problem has become worse rather than better.

I do not want to paint a black and white picture to something so colourful and complex, but I keep seeing a a pattern emerge involving our present day social interactions with the economic conditions that ultimately alter them. If you aren't a member of upper society economically, your either to stressed and overworked to actually do anything to help others or your working at such a level that your not making ends meat and your actions seem to serve a bunch of people who have more money than you.

Do you feel like this sometimes? Where you want to give to good causes and help those in need, but then suddenly a fearful voice pops into your head warning you about the upcoming rent or that hydro bill?

If the income disparity gap isn't bad enough though, we also have to worry about charitable causes that state they are non-profit, yet act as if they are for profit with the distribution of their income.

I don't know...if your up this late and have had a chance to read this than I thank you for taking the time and as always am also curious to your thoughts on the subject.

Where do we stand today with the health of our overall charity as a society? Which direction is this charity heading for the future? What other conditions are affecting the direction of charitable donations and volunteering?

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