It’s almost mid-month and I’m having a frustrating day (as per what usually happens mid-month for me – it’s like “hump day” but for each month). I’ve tried to contact numerous charities to volunteer for them (started contacting them at the end of last month), and not one of them have contacted me back (that includes the Sally Ann). A lot of the others require months of application, interviews and training before they allow you to volunteer for them. I just want to give my time and no one will let me! The only way around this right now seems to be going along with friends of mine who already volunteer and shadowing them. I don’t want to make this month all about giving money, but it’s much harder than I anticipated to do good actions other than giving money.
This month has also affected my friendships. Every time I do a good deed to someone I know, people give me a hard time because they say I’m just doing it for my writing. I offer friends help that I would have offered any other time and they tell me I’m using them. Other times when I offer help, people won’t accept it because they think they then owe me something or their pride is hurt. What is this world coming to that people think that everything everyone does is to get something in return? There is such a thing as genuine kindness. That’s what people do for their friends and family – help them when they need help, because they care about them and want them to be happy. And when someone offers help to a stranger, they are doing it because they can help and it makes them happy to do so.
My friend from yesterday said he was embarrassed by my post because he hates asking for help because he doesn’t want anyone sacrificing anything for him (see his comment on yesterday’s post). I will admit I was tired when I wrote what I did yesterday at 6:45 AM (far earlier than I ever get up), and I’m sorry I embarrassed him. I didn’t mean to – I was just writing how I felt at the time. And for the record, I INSISTED I was going to drive him because I wanted to see him off, I wanted to see him again before he left and I thought it would be much nicer for him than taking a cab. He did not ask for help, I forced it on him. Circumstances change, that is life, and I am happy he is staying in Toronto longer.
But it does bring up a good point about sacrificing (nothing to do with my friend from yesterday). I don’t really see the problem with sacrificing for your friends, family or community. Sometimes we do things we don’t want to do because we know it would make our loved ones happy. Is our world really so self-centred that it’s not acceptable to do a good deed for someone we care about or accept a good deed from someone who cares about us? When I need help, I am so glad I have family and friends who will spend time to, for example, drive me to my doctor’s appointments when I’m sick even though they really don’t have time to, or come over and cook me dinner when I’m having a bad day. I need them and I’m so happy they are there for me, just as I will be there for them when they need me.
I was so excited about this month before it started, but it has proven harder than I expected. Every time I do a good deed I feel like I’m cheating by writing about it – like it has somehow lost its validity as a good deed. There are things this month I have done that I am not going to write about because I think the people involved will see the good deed differently. I also don’t get as much pleasure in the nice action when I talk about it. It’s sometimes more fun to do it in secret or just to accept a thank you and a hug from the person I did it for. So today’s good deed is a secret and I will think of a plan of attack for the rest of the month to still write about deeds, without taking away from the goodness of them.