As another DONATION TUESDAY comes and goes, I hope everyone who donated to NGOs really thought about where their money was going, and how it was being used. I was asked by a couple of moms with kids about how I thought it best to teach giving to their kids. The answer was easy. I suggested they only give their time not money, and only to causes close to their hearts. There are many programs close by to where everyone lives that can use a few hours from a young person. Both cause and kid benefit.
Even cleaning up your local environment or helping out at an old folks home brings you in touch with reality, and if you are lucky, nature. These are all things that modern culture is lacking in the smart phone world. Kids watch things get done! Kids can easily listen to their favorite music, and with a swipe of their finger donate cash to any number of different causes. Have they ever really helped clear flood damage, fight a major fire, or face a real disaster? Today much of their experience is viewed safely on the screen. I feel there is something learned by real experience. Go for it! Jump in…! The old saying that if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger is a mantra I follow.
I film whales and I will tell you there is a world of difference between experiencing a real whale and viewing beautiful film. There is a presence that one can only feel being in touch with the earth. Smart phones, no matter how cool, do not do that.
So instead of writing out a check for an ego-corporation with the glossy brochure, think local. Even better, get off your ass and walk to a local shelter, wildlife station, or where ever and write the check. When that’s done, why not spend a few hours shoveling shit or packing disaster supplies… it will be good for you.