What makes a person good? Does self-proclamation suffice or is it intrinsic in our deeds? It’s not like I lay awake at night worrying about virtue, but I wonder if it is a common goal of humanity.
I want to be good, but know I could be better. Knowing it is never wrong to do the right thing, I strive to be genuine and kind to others as well as myself. Right now I am so utterly disgusted and/or confounded with humanity, I want to sit and cry.
Who am I kidding, any excuse for tears is a good one.
an excuse to do good
One of the perils of working in retail, is I have easy access to shopping. I love buying new clothes to wear (especially since dropping 20 lbs). Realizing I have a finite amount of room in the closet, I always have a shopping bag set up for donations.
If something new comes in, I make room. No biggie. When the bag is full, I drive it to a donation center for reuse. It’s a small gesture but every little bit counts in the end.
Is it me trying to be good? Maybe it is an excuse to continue with a serious shopping habit. Either way, through occasional purging, my home doesn’t resemble one from an episode of Hoarders (violent shudder here).
Have you ever watched that show? Each time i viewed even part of an episode, I immediately began throwing things out. The thought of piles upon piles of junk freaks me out.
Anyway, back to the point…
an unspeakable act
Recently my sister took a donation to her local drop off spot. The details of her donation are unimportant. As she entered the center to drop off her goods, the woman sorting the donations looked amiss.
Turns out she received a large bag filled primarily with trash and dog poo. Seriously?????? Who does that? I would have been appalled, fuming, raging, really pissed and probably crying as a result.
Why didn’t she drop the bag into a dumpster the moment she opened it? Laura pressed further and found out that policy dictates she search the entire contents of a donation bag. Gross!
an epic fail of humanity
The sole purpose of these drop off centers is to help those who are less fortunate. They are located conveniently so giving is made easier. Leaving garbage as a donation (never mind the dog shit) goes beyond my comprehension.
Don’t contribute if you don’t want to. Philanthropy is not mandatory. There is nothing charitable about forcing someone else to take care of your shit (not metaphorically speaking here).
what can I do about it?
Is this my responsibility? I am not the one who carelessly left garbage at a donation center. As a human being, I am ashamed. Why is this behavior tolerated?
I cannot atone for the injustice. I cannot change human nature. What I can do is retell the story. I can grieve for the collapse of kindness. I can teach my children to respect others. I can do the right thing, just because it is honorable.
Am I alone in this? Does it matter?