Over the last few weeks I’ve had a very eye opening experience into exactly what so many people are really like. Ovarian cancer is something that is very dear to my heart. It’s a disease that has been in my family and in my friendship circles so I’ve chosen to really invest in supporting it.
This month I went to four fundraising events. All had a ticket price in excess of $60. All had raffle tickets sold in multiples of $5. There were also extra donation options, too. I enjoy these events and I believe that if you can enjoy yourself while supporting something else, then why not.
But when I “only” gave an additional $50 to the cause and bought another $20 worth of raffle tickets, the people around me at my table looked at me like I was skimping out on something. They were talking about their donations loudly, claiming “I already gave $100 last week so I’ll just give $200 today” as if it was something worth sharing. To me donating is a personal thing so I sat there quietly, offering what I thought was appropriate. One lady even asked me from across the round table, “Kathy how much are you putting in?” to which I replied, “Just a little bit”. It was there in their eyes, in their quiet whispers while avoiding making eye contact with me – judgement. Judgement that I hadn’t offered more, judgement that I wasn’t gifting the cause the same amount they were.
This made me feel two things.
Firstly I was angry. Who were they to judge me? What they didn’t know is that I was a member of something called the “Teal Circle” I had pledged to give $1,500 a year for the next three years to ovarian cancer research. It’s done quietly and it isn’t promoted. Here they were judging me without knowing that I give much more than just what they see.
The second thing I felt was sad. Saddened that people in the community who do outlay money to go to these events, with good hearts for a good cause, those who might not be able to commit much extra money, are judged for that.
People should not be judged by those who don’t know them. In fact, people shouldn’t be judged at all.
People who judge others based on looks, possessions, homes, cars, public donations and what they show the world aren’t looking at the real person at all. They don’t know how much time they give to causes in replacement of money, how many programs they silently support each year, how much assistance they give their family members, how much love and kindness they give to those who need it.
Every person in the world is a book with the cover closed. It disappointed me so much that people who are selfless and give all of the love they can to those around them go unnoticed, while people like this can sit there and feel they have a right to judge in the first place.
If you don’t know me, you can’t judge me. And that goes for everyone else too.
Tell us, have you experienced something similar? Is the charitable you kept private instead of public? Share your thoughts on the issue here…