I get asked, from time to time, to contribute to someone’s crowd-sourcing campaign, like I’m sure many of you do. Recently, I was asked to spread the word about a campaign to help fund someone’s cancer treatment. Being the blunt asshole that I am, I asked the beneficiary of the fund if she had ever, or would ever, help someone she didn’t know well with their medical bills. I was surprised she humored me with an answer. She said that she often gave money to save animals and helped out with a funeral, once.
So, I felt a little bit like pond scum for asking, but the question needs to be asked. I completely understand why someone would set up a crowd-sourcing campaign when they are confronted with insurmountable medical bills. The crowd-sourced fund can help fill a huge gap left by inadequate medical insurance coverage and ridiculous health care prices.
Having said that, you can’t expect others to help when you wouldn’t. What I want to know is, how many people, who are now campaigning for donations, have not contributed, or would never contribute to a similar campaign by a non-family member? I know it’s an impossible standard to enforce, but people shouldn’t ask for help if they’re not willing to help others when they’re able. To put it another way, if you’d rather upgrade your video game console than give $10 to someone you know who is in dire need of help, then, maybe, you should not be asking for others to pitch in to buy you a new X-Box when yours is consumed in a house fire.
What goes around comes around, as they say. I’m not sure that’s always the case, but I wish it was. I want to help people who really need it, but I don’t want to help someone who would not lift a finger to help someone else, AND there are so many people who sincerely need and deserve help. Then again, if you’re dying of cancer and 10,000 strangers pitch in to make your life easier, maybe you’ll be inspired to be a better person.