My Adventure in Mommyhood

Friday, December 16, 2011

Modifying someone else's behavior

In the last week, or so, I have read blog posts about how economically advantaged people should relate to economically disadvantaged people.

Sadly,  most of the posts seem to be based on the idea that economically advantaged people are entitled to make value judgments about where & how the economically disadvantaged should shop and what is appropriate for them to 'wish' for.

The economy stinks. There is a gap between the shrinking middle class and people who are economically disadvantaged. Through this gap should go helping others.

Instead, it sparks comments indicating the economically advantaged can, and should, make decisions for other persons. And get upset when the other person doesn't behave in a way they want.

This is so condescending that it leaves me stunned and speechless. I am almost equally stunned to hear so many people say they will not give, because the economically disadvantaged don't follow in lockstep with them and act like proper "poor people".

I really thought that giving was about, you know... giving. Helping others. That sort of thing. Apparently, not. It appears many people make decisions to help people based on those people's behavior. And how they can use their seeming largess to modify other's behavior to make it more palatable to the giver. That, not only really sucks, it destroys the spirit of giving.

People are not greedy because they want more than you planned on giving. A kid is not greedy because he asks for something s/he really wants.  Believing one can dictate appropriate behavior to someone else is bigoted, unrealistic and just plain wrong.

To me, giving is about giving. Not about telling people what they should do with the money/property you give. Give what you can, don't qualify it. Don't withhold giving because some people want things you feel are inappropriate.

Most of all, try not to make value judgments or use money to modify another's behavior. And lose the condescending attitude. Immediately.

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