Why do we wait until it is convenient or fashionable to help others?

"Fashionable Help" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
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Better late than never.

Most fund raisers understand the psychology of charity, that most of us are motivated by guilt. We give and donate to alleviate our sense of privilege and to make ourselves feel better. Even Starbucks knows that when they inform us that a few cents of the luxury coffee we just purchased is going to charity, it makes us feel better about our extravagant tastes. It’s so convenient and fashionable!

This is true for the victims, the survivors, and the marginalized. At first their stories might not be believed. But after their stories are out there for a while, and substantiating evidence and maybe even proof starts rolling in, and the tide seems to turn and their peers start believing too, then sometimes the unbelievers change their minds and listen to the victims, the survivors, and the marginalized. It’s so fashionable and convenient.

But, like I said, better late than never!

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3 Replies to “Why do we wait until it is convenient or fashionable to help others?”

  1. This has me laughing. At a certain church I use to go to, one of the elders has a life group called ‘Get-R-Done’ where he ‘assist single moms, widows, and others needing help in our church and community.’ And he had that life group then too.
    A friend and I felt so sorry for this elders Mother because her dining room ceiling was starting to crumble from a roof leak. My friend and I hired a roofer to fix the roof that had been leaking for YEARS and had rotted out the wood; it was more extensive than just a shingle needing fixing. She (the mother) and I and the friend who helped are all widows.
    Now that is what I call “Get-R-Done” for the community to see. But not helping your own mother???
    Be careful who you “Get-R-Done” with. Okay, everyone laugh!

  2. Too often our culture views helping others as a consumer product. We buy a cup of coffee or spend an afternoon on a special project with friends in order to support a cause or a charity. What if, instead, we viewed helping others as a way of living our life everyday? An attitude of looking and listening to the things and people around us, and responding in an appropriate manner, all day, every day? Rather than numbing ourselves to what is around us, and occasionally buying a charity product to give us a false sense of helping others.

    “But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care — how can the love of God remain in him?”

  3. I’m not sure they actually wait for it to become fashionable, but they simply avoid it until someones advocacy or or the victims cries become too loud to ignore any longer. Then in a sense it becomes fashionable, because finally everyone starts doing something. Unfortunately its only to get the advocates and victims to become quiet again.

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