Rant longer than 140 characters

26 08 2011

I just read a very emotional and touching blog. I won’t link to it as my rant isn’t supportive or kind in the end.

In this blog the writer tells a story of a homeless man being treated badly in coldest winter. He helps this man, gives him a gift voucher for food etc. He related to the likelihood of the homeless man having some kind of developmental disability like all 3 of his kids.

You’d be close to tears. It was expertly written, descriptive, emotive and something many parents will related to whether or not their children have a disability. The fear of who will look after them when the parents have died remains well into the child’s adulthood.

Had I left it at reading the blog, I’d have finished my evening with a warm and fuzzy feeling. There are still kind people in the world. All’s well with humanity etc. Blah blah

Then I read the comments.

Comment after comment where people were donating money to the blogger.

Hang on a minute… Giving money to the blogger???

The blogger gave away $25 yet people in the comments donated well over $50 in return.

So, does this mean that altruism pays and not in the feel good sense?

A quick search of the site, I’m on my phone so can’t see whole thing at once, reveals there is a donate button. WTF?

This money donated doesn’t go to charity, it goes into the pocket of the blogger.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s struggling at the moment and every little bit helps but surely if someone felt obliged to help, they too would donate to a good and needy cause such as a homeless charity/shelter or a food bank or even pick a random homeless person off the street and give them $20.

By my calculations, reading the blog, the writer can afford to run a car and have Internet access in his home. I’m not saying he’s not struggling or that he’s rich but he already has far more than the homeless man he helped and far more than the millions of homeless people worldwide.

It made me doubt his kindness. It made me doubt the sanity of those leaving comments, who would rather donate to a man who made a kind act, than to the truly needy causes he supported with his kindness.

I am a cynical bastard but I could write tragi-blogs and put up a donate link. I could play on people’s emotions and financial kindness in a time of economic turmoil. I could make a lot of money from a bunch of vulnerable strangers who feel the connection between their family situation and that of the blogger is enough to warrant giving me money to help me in my time of difficulty.

But I never would and should a stranger try to give me money, I would never accept it. I would suggest more worthy causes than me for their cash.

I’m now left with a cold feeling about what started out a beautiful story. My take on it now: Skint man helps autistic homeless man because skint man worries his kids could end up like that. Skint man cries like a baby and blogs about it. Conveniently there’s a donate button on the site. Skint man isn’t quite so skint anymore. His website gets lots of traffic, he gets lots of money and autistic homeless man is still autistic and homeless.

I hope I’m wrong but I smell a rat. I could harp on about my financial and personal woes with disability in the hope I could con a few people out of a few bob but it wouldn’t help anyone else out and all I’d learn was that gullible and vulnerable people fall easily for the written word.

I’m now left feeling a bit disgusted. At myself for thinking this way, but mostly at a blogger who felt he could cash in on what may or may not be a true story.




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