Lately I have noticed an increased use of the term ‘charity fatigue’ and heard more people commenting on how hard it is in our First World to keep up with the constant demands of so-called needy people.
It wasn’t until I heard Simon McKeon speak earlier this week that I felt the term charity fatigue was put in its place.
Simon, a philanthropist and our proud 2011 Australian of the Year, said: “until you walk in the shoes of someone who has lived through a disaster, you won’t see the charity fatigue disappear”.
I liken the term ‘charity fatigue’ to someone being ‘annoyed’ when someone dare jump in front of a train, grinding the whole network to a stop. When I was living in London, sadly this kind of tragedy happened far too often. These ‘annoyed’ people were too busy thinking about the inconvenience of it all rather than the terrible, terrible tragedy that had just occurred.
Until you have lived through a horrendous experience and then thought about how much people might really need your help and your kindness, ‘charity fatigue’ is an easy, dismissive, label to use.
Sure we don’t all have deep pockets, and there are countless good causes to support, however there are PLENTY of small acts of kindness you can do everyday that will (hopefully) change someone’s world.
I am fortunate to have seen so many acts of kindness over the past six months. Acts that almost anyone could do to help someone struggling with life.
Any of these would go a helluva lot further than one dollar could:
* Mow someone’s lawn
* Offer to babysit for one hour for a frazzled mother
* Cook someone a meal
* Call a friend or relative and REALLY ask how they are
* Pay someone a compliment and mean it
* Clear out your wardrobe or junk in the garage and donate items that you don’t use / need to a charity or someone in need
* Sign up to Givit.org.au and find something on their list that you can give
* Invite someone lonely for a drink or a meal
* Visit an elderly person and have a cuppa with them
* Bake a cake for a new neighbour in your street
* Support local business who have recently gone through a crisis
* Give Blood
* Be a millionaire of smiles…..