14 December 2007

Acts of Random Stupidity

Remember that ridiculous story about the 50+ chain of cars at a Starbucks of people paying for other people's orders (this version is slightly different then the one I remembered, so maybe it happened again, which if so, get over yourselves people).

First off, the people in line at a Starbucks drive thru most likely don't need the charity, secondly, folks are only doing it to make themselves feel better about themselves, it's just a showy way to pretend you care about your 'fellow being'. Thirdly, for an act to be real charity, in my opinion, it should go to recipients who could use the charity.

Which brings me to my grandmother. She was at an undisclosed Sears location today, and while she was buying her usual ration of ill fitting poorly styled clothes as her annual Christmas presents to her various relations, the lady in front of her paid for her purchase. Way to go random act of "kindness" lady. You may think you were helping out a sweet, frail, nearly indigent old lady out and probably felt great about how you made her month by allowing her to buy Christmas presents and eat something other than cat food for the next month. But I have news for you, my frail old grandmother, who dresses like somebody supported only by their meager social security check in fact owns a rental property worth upwards of $1,500,000 and probably has about $500,000 in cash, bonds and stocks. In otherwords, your act of charity may have been slightly misplaced, and on top of that, though we are related by blood, and I love her, I must inform you that she is not someone likely to feel much gratitude at an act like this, nor is she likely to imitate your act of "paying it forward", rather she probably just thinks she's lucky and you were a sucker.


Pastor_Jeff said...

I've had people driving cars much nicer than mine ask me for money. You need money? Sell that Caddy.

I've had random people off the street come to church asking for cash and then get mad at me when I wouldn't give it to them. Excuse me, you're mad because I won't simply give you free money?

And you kids standing on the street corners with buckets collecting for your sports teams? Run a car wash. Provide a service. Do something, other than standing there with a jersey and a sense of entitlement.

This is not to say that I don't give people money. I do. But when Jesus commands us to be generous and help the poor, he's not talking about people with SUVs, cable tv, leather jackets, and $100 sneakers.

Your grandma sounds like a lady I'd like.

XWL said...

Nobody in my family is likely to suffer fools.

Acts like the one described are the opposite of charity, they're selfish, short-sighted, and designed for instant self-gratification rather than a thoughtul rational and compassionate means to improving folks lives.

Bumpersticker philosophizing leads to bumpersticker dogooderism.

Icepick said...

[S]he probably just thinks she's lucky and you were a sucker.

And your grandmother would be correct both times!

Pastor_Jeff said...

Amazingly, Starbucks already has a special website dedicated to "spread the cheer" -- because their PR people had absolutely nothing to do with these random expressions of cheer.