While charitable endeavours should rarely be criticised, is there such a thing as overkill?
In November, or Movember as it’s now known, every man of a certain age grows a moustache and issues constant pleas on his Facebook page to “give a little” or “dig deep”.
It’s all in the name of raising money for Prostate Cancer UK and raising awareness of the illness, which is ultimately a good thing, but one can’t help but wonder if, for many, the true motive isn’t just raising awareness of their own facial hair.
So if I do decide to “dig deep”, where do I draw the line?
Do I choose to donate to one friend who pops up in my news feed because he has a mightily impressive handlebar moustache, or, out of sympathy, do I give my hard-earned cash to my flatmate who has been walking around like a 15-year-old boy who has misplaced his shaver for the last month?
What about the 150 other people posting daily updates of their ‘tache?
Do I choose one and risk alienating the rest?
Next year I am planning to go door to door giving pats on the back to avoid this dilemna.
In the end, the sheer volume of people taking part essentially stops many from donating at all, and contributes to a charity malaise in our society.
In a recent study, one in every two workplace e-mails are now from colleagues asking to be sponsored for charity.
Although I just made that statistic up, it would not surprise me if it was actually true, now that January’s Dryathlon has come into play.
The all-encompassing guilt trip has become a frustrating staple of our society, so much so that people are asking for money just to not drink for 31 days, which given said people have probably already consumed their monthly allowance during the festive season, shouldn’t be that much of a problem.
The constant stream of requests can ultimately drown out appeals from people actually pushing themselves to the limit and challenging themselves beyond comprehension.
If each month everybody is asked to donate to people who are actually doing nothing at all, we risk letting the people who actually do put in the effort getting lost in the shuffle.
Cancer Research UK, as well as Prostate Cancer UK, are worthwhile charities and raising money for them can never be bad.
But staying in actually requires less effort than going out drinking, and not shaving is not as taxing as shaving daily.
On another note, please give generously as in February, I will be abstaining from brushing my teeth in a bid to raise awareness of plaque. And no, I am not just bitter because at the age of 27, I still can’t grow a moustache.