Monday, July 6, 2009
Does this make me a bad person?
I don't know if this happens in your neck of the woods. But around where I work when the weather gets nicer the streets fill up with earnest, eager young people with clip boards who all want you to help them save something. Whales, the children, polar bears, the ice caps, the environment. I don’t know. I don’t slow down to find out. They seem like nice people and I’m sure they are all worthy causes but I, for one, am not slowing down. I go to great lengths to avoid them. It isn’t easy. They seem to be everywhere and while you are distracted by one you run into another. But I have come up with some strategies. I keep my eyes down and pretend I’m digging in my purse for something. I cross the street in the middle of the block when I see them ahead only to have to cross back over later because now I’m on the wrong side of the street. I also use other people as camouflage. I will walk closely behind them so they will get caught and I can slip by unnoticed. And of course there is the ‘sorry, I don’t have time’ brush off. I ease my conscience by saying it is better to just go by and not have them go through the whole spiel when I already know that I’m not going to give them any money or sign up for anything. But really I know that isn’t the reason. I just don’t want to talk to them. I know these people are doing their best for a cause they believe in. And what do I do? I literally walk a block out of my way just to avoid talking to them. But really, all I want to do is walk down the street. I shouldn’t feel obligated to stop, should I? Does it make me a bad person that I don’t even care what cause they’re fighting for? Well, maybe it does. But I don’t plan to lose any sleep over it. I think it is enough of a good deed to take all the fliers people are handing out and politely wait until they can’t see me before I throw them in the trash. Maybe that makes me heartless. But I think I can live with that.