Self-righteous charity isn’t inspirational

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Self-righteous charity isn’t inspirational

The season of giving is now upon us. That means more giving, more selfless acts of kindness, and more videos of people recording themselves doing good deeds and posting them on their social media. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing good things for other people. I love the holiday season for that specific reason. I appreciate it a lot more now than ever, especially with the rise of capitalistic greed during this and every other season. 

What truly ruins the spirit of giving is when people decide to do an act of kindness like buying a meal for a person who is homeless, paying for someone’s meal in the drive-thru or giving someone a ride to their destination, and proceed to record the act in that moment, or brag about what they did on their social media. 

I see it as an act of self-promotion. I see it as being boastful. I see it as performative. It is an opportunity for people to make themselves look better or feel better about themselves. 

I don’t get impressed when I see people do it. Why do I need a video or a post of you helping out someone in need? People doing good things for other people should be second nature; I don’t applaud fish for swimming. 

When you record yourself handing out food or resources, you then put the focus on you and your promotion — not the actual deed itself. 

I also see it as exploiting other people. You are recording people at their lowest in order to share and make yourself look good.

Imagine you are in a situation where you have no home, no money for adequate resources, and someone decides to selflessly buy you a meal or pay for something to help you out. Then, they immediately pull out their camera and stick it in your face so they can post on their social media. 

You are using someone’s bad experience or situation to try and make yourself feel better, and by doing that, your selfless act loses credibility. 

I can see the merit behind posting a selfless act video or writing a post about what you did on your social media. It can inspire a few people to go out of their way to do something kind for someone else — maybe it’ll change the mindset of a few during this holiday season. 

But even when I read those posts or hear people talking about what they did, I’m not moved. I’m not inspired to do good. 

The posts that do inspire me are the ones where people share what good things have happened to them with the help of others — personal testaments to the good deeds done by good people.  

I love seeing posts or videos of people sharing what others have done for them when they needed it the most. That is the spirit of giving, not bragging or being boastful.

Good people don’t have to brag about doing good things. They let their work speak for them. 

So in the end, during this season of giving, do good, but leave the phones at home or in your pocket.