Stingy or Selfish?


I have been meaning to blog about this for two weeks – since it happened in fact – but I am not sure how to this will come across.

Almost every day I have a free period in the middle of my work hours. I usually stay in the staff room, do some photocopying and other paper work. I am not alone as there are always other colleagues who are in the same situation.

Somebody started talking about the French Telethon. One guy proudly announced that he would never give money for this cause nor to any other. Another one chimed in explaining that the state was supposed to support health and poverty at all levels, which justified his never performing charity. Lastly a colleague with a handicap added that she couldn’t see why she should help anybody or anything since she had so many needs.

First I just sat there speechless. I obviously know that lots of people never give to charities but it is another thing to actually identify them and realize they are folks you interact with every day.

I finally manged to utter a few words and tried to explain and defend my position, namely that I give to a number of charities which work for various causes. It was difficult, not because I am unsure of my choices, but because I didn’t want to appear complacent. I also omitted the religious factor as I knew that the people in front of me were staunch atheists on whom the argument would have been completely lost.

To be completely honest I should add that one other colleague who was also present explained that she gave to a beggar outside the store where she shops and pepared gifts for children with her daughters during the Christmas season.

I am still bothered by all this and wonder whether I should have said more, or less, on this issue.