December 7, 2009

Red Kettle Campaign Boycott

It's that time of year again...when the jingle bell beggars stand outside the doors of every major retailer and beckon you with their siren song of guilt. Here's the thing about The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. I really love the charity work the Salvation Army does. But, I'm wired to be obsessively self-aware. And I feel completely judged by these bell-ringers when I don't give. Especially because they know nothing about me except for that one action. They don't know whether or not I gave to the basket 3 stores down just an hour ago. They don't know whether or not I have prioritized charity causes I feel more passionately about than theirs. And I refuse to be motivated to give by guilt alone. Note: this is one of the main reasons these are manned stations and not just stand-alone baskets...and another reason why most churches pass the offering plate down the aisle rather than having a basket in the corner where you can give discretely...more on that one another time. In fact, I will even go out of my way to enter or exit the store through an unmanned entrance. And if this isn't possible, I will slow down my stride and use someone else as a full-body shield to eliminate a personal encounter. Do you have a strategy, or are you just fortunate to be someone who could care less what these people think about you?