Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Moral: don't flag your good deeds

In an uncharacteristic gesture I recently invited suggestions on which charities might best benefit from my winter fuel allowance. For those unaware of socialistic Britain, the WFA is a government handout to ensure pensioners like me don’t freeze to death between November and April and thereby cease casting our votes.

Re-reading my post I’m appalled by how self-serving it seems and will think first before playing Lady Bountiful again. However, the charities need not share my self-flagellation and third shares of WFA have now gone to two of them.

The Crow’s Quaker International Educational Trust (QuIET) supports education and peace initiatives through education; she adds “My Meeting sends contributions to the Friends school in Ramallah”. The eccentric capitals appealed to me as did their willingness to work in such a hellhole. A British address meant no cash would be dissipated in exchange rate costs.

Sir Hugh mentioned a personal debt to the National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children. I favour child-support charities and this one in particular. Foreigners have pointed out that this outfit is merely national; the one against animal cruelty (ie, RSPCA) has royal support. But that doesn’t mean I’m against furry, feathered or even scaly beasts. Anyway forty quid for them.

The only reason Julia’s suggestion, Water Missions International, (laudable aim: to stop people dying of thirst) hasn’t got their dough yet is because they’re American and I’m dickering about a form of payment which doesn’t simultaneously enrich bankers. Note: After some to-ing and fro-ing with WMI's online system this was eventually achieved, December 15 2010

Ho hum.

10 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

Donations to charities are motivated by personal subjectiveness. I welcome our compatibility on this occasion. One further point: I limited my comment to the specified twenty five words which others didn’t. I suspect I may have been rewarded for my brevity which I know is a quality you approve of?

The Crow said...

I'll make this response short and sweet: Thanks, luv. (Under 25 - that okay?)

Barrett Bonden said...

Sir Hugh: Yes I do approve of brevity and it's a necessary factor with charities. There are so many of them, each making its special heart-rending plea. What's more they're going in for sub-division. I joked about whether I'd feel inclined to donate to The Donkey Shelter (not that I've anything against donkeys) but it's quite possible by now that there's a shelter for the Albanian variety. On top of this donating to a charity turns you into a hostage for life - the premise being: if you're donating presently, you could donate more. AI has a tendency to ring me up when I'm having my brunch and I'm required to discuss Prisoners of Conscience while spooning muesli into my mouth. The dialogue ends with a request for me to up my DD. I mentioned what I was donating to AI to a friend who shares my political beliefs and he lurched back in horror saying, "That's far too much." Oh, I've a further confession. I bin AI's magazine unread.

The Crow: Alas, my tendency towards a by now outmoded professionalism is read at the other end as Procrusteanism. All I was asking for was a brief explanation as to why the charity in question appealed to the suggester. You did that first time round, met my savage terms exactly. For which much thanks. On an idiomatic note, some PC flat-heads have said that people serving behind shop-counters should be discouraged from tacking on "Luv" to conversations with customers. This has led them to switch to "Duck." Which serves the flat-heads right.

Avus said...

I'll pass up on this one. Matthew 6:2 comes to mind.

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: Though I don't approve of these terse Biblical allusions which call into question the motives of the alluder: (a) Look, I've memorised - or Googled - this. (b) Bet you don't know what this refers to. (c) The Good Book has an answer to everything, etc, etc. I stand hoist by my own petard here.

To those like me who have an ambivalent relationship with the KJV here's what Avus was getting at: Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Which is fine except that this more recent post had already invited in the Greater Piety to kick my backside. Consider it kicked.

Lucy said...

Why is it always Lady Bountiful but not Lord I wonder?

Actually re the donkeys, we got given one of those 'I've donated on your behalf' things one Christmas from Tom's son, and it was for a charity which sends vets specifically to advise people in developing countries to look after their donkeys better. I really liked this, because it appealed to the sentimental animal lover in me who hates the thought of abused and neglected donkeys, but also it was genuinely helping the people too, since a well-treated donkey works better and improves the quality of life for all its entourage!

I was put straight very young on the Royal/National thing concerning animals and children, that in fact National denoted a higher or more official status than Royal anyway.

I don't think you're being pharisaic in simply discussing this, and asking people to make a case, I think it's quite important; charities are big business and sometimes questionable, we need to think about them. I was very happy to get the donkey-vet donation as a Christmas present, and didn't feel that anyone was trumpeting their good works unacceptably. More gratifying really than being sent a stupid box of chocolates with added air-miles, but apparently other people (presumably his sisters) grumbled about it as a way of doing Christmas.

Co-incidentally the blind dog people just rang me again...

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: Trust you to go to the heart of my generalisation and leave me in ruins. The donkey/vet charity is of course exactly the sort of thing I favour: it's simple, its benefits are obvious and quickly visible and its funds would not be swallowed up by administration. To tell the truth if anyone had suggested The Donkey Shelter I'd have gone along with them. The whole point was to get someone else's view of charity rather than the somewhat predictable list Mrs BB and I have come up with.

It wasn't pharasaicism I regretted in my earlier post. It was the later realisation that I appeared to be promenading my virtues, a defect that hadn't seemed apparent at the initial impulse.

Interesting to hear your verdict on the chocolates. Even if I knew the recipient to be a choco-addict I'd be worried about despatching such a symbol of self-indulgence. But then, as you well know, worrying also gets me into trouble.

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: Second thoughts made me look up pharisaic and I find I may have been (accidentally) of that too. A double whammie.

Lucy said...

Oh, I don't mind getting chocolates one bit, but I think it's a bit silly sending them across the seas to people who can just as easily get their own. Though that's exactly what I do.

I just came over from another blog who's writer said that she once sent a charitable donation gift to a friend who hasn't spoken to her since! I think that's a mite ungracious. Mind you it was for a dormouse sanctuary. I think I'd be quite charmed by the idea of a dormouse sanctuary...

Julia said...

Glad to hear you figured out a way with WMI without donating to the banking system. I've always donated from my States account so didn't even think of the international issues, sorry about that.

I am now going to go and run a Google search on 'dormouse sanctuary'. See how much our minds stretch, thanks to Works Well? (Bible verses, mouse houses and more!)