Wednesday, December 02, 2009
HSPs, the Season of Giving, Doing Good and Apathy
I've been told-- by more than a few readers of this blog-- that part of the reason they read is that I don't tend to sugar coat life as a sensitive person, and I don't feel compelled to characterize HSPs as pink fluffy bunnies dancing through the meadows. Not that pink fluffy bunnies don't have a place in the world, mind you. Sometimes, I even rattle a few people's cages... so let me rattle yours, for a moment.
We're entering the holiday season, and I have been pausing to ponder the true meaning of this time of the year, apart from the general explosion of overconsumption that otherwise dominates the landscape and airwaves.
This is the season of giving.
Not "giving" in the sense of fancy baubles purchased from the store, but giving of ourselves; giving from the heart. Doing things to make the world a better place.
What have you GIVEN, lately?
Sometimes I am stunned by the apathy of the world. Someone near and dear to me (who happens to be an HSP) is trying to rally support for a cause she really believes in. She was sharing with me how she'd contacted all manners of people she knew and had gotten what-- at least in my opinion-- is a very apathetic response.
Now I can appreciate the fact that we all get bombarded with requests for donations to charity during the holidays-- and times a tight. However, that completely misses the point of my friend's story.
You see, she wasn't asking for money. She wasn't asking for people to do work. She wasn't asking for hours of time. She wasn't contacting strangers, she was contacting people she already knew. All she did was ask people to use a few moments of their online time to visit a web site and VOTE for her cause in a contest, so that they might have a chance at winning $25,000 someone ELSE is already committed to donate.
100's of emails, yet hardly anyone could find two minutes of their time to make a few clicks to cast a vote online. My cynical side says "and these are the same people who have 30 minutes handy to play solitaire on their computer, or spend hours cultivating the cornucopia of apps on Facebook, or tweeting the content of their last sandwich to the twitterverse."
The story was interesting enough to me that I decided to pick it up for this blog, and for my other web presences... and to write a sort of "challenge" to people. How apathetic ARE we, really? We like to SAY that we "care," but do our actions match those words?
Someone you know asks you (during the "season of giving," remember?) for two minutes of your time, no cost involved, so that a greater good can be served. Do you just sit on your hands? Or do you say "yes, I CAN do that for you" and help out?
Perhaps I should add that the cause in question wasn't "weird" or "controversial." It's a community theatre in Carmel, CA, which helps 1000s of kids every year. As much as HSPs tend to enjoy the arts, it's a natural "fit" as something HSPs would be supportive of... hence my additional surprise at the very "modest" response my friend received.
So, what's wrong with this picture?
Maybe people were put off by the fact that the host site where the voting takes place works through the Facebook social network.
"I don't want to be part of that. I don't trust them. I don't want a Facebook account. It's just for kids. They'll steal my identity."
I've heard those excuses for years, especially from the HSP community. Fact is that Facebook wouldn't have gotten to have 350 MILLION members by being untrustworthy and being "just for kids." Ever see a facebook ad on TV? Or in a magazine? Or in a newspaper? Neither have I.. because it's completely "viral," as a result of friends telling friends... and when you recommend something to friend, it's usually because it's GOOD, right?
"An HSP would never be part of a social network!"
Many of the HSPs I have met personally, or know through web groups are on Facebook. Guess what? I actually got ON Facebook to stay in touch with HSPs I'd met at HSP Gatherings! Guess what else? There are two HSP groups on Facebook, and both are among the five largest online HSP Communities in the world.
Anyway, what's the point of this article?
I was asked if I would do something simple-- go to a web site, register, and vote for someone's charity to receive someone ELSE's money. And so I did... a few minutes of my time, a worthy cause; no cost to me.
Then I heard the feedback from my friend, and became ashamed at how apathetic the world is. So, I decided to make this MY cause, as well-- as a bit of a "social experiment." I took the next step: help spread the word.
Now I'm asking YOU.
Would you give a few minutes of your web time to help a good cause, at no cost to you?
If the answer is yes, click the small blue banner below. And follow the instructions. If you get lost, I've made it so the link opens a new tab in your browser. You can just come back here and click on the banner again, to get back to where you were.
And yes, I'll come back and update. And I'd appreciate it if YOU came back and commented on what YOU did, too.
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