Monday, January 25, 2010

incentivised good deeds.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to come up with an idea for a persuasive, and couldn't. This is, technically, not true. I had a lot of ideas but none that I felt I could honestly do, or do without being guilty of hypocrisy. Explanation: I thought I could do a persuasive on the ONE organization, because I believe that it is a good organization. But, I don't donate any time or money to them. I did do that thing on their website, but that wasn't exactly hard. In essence, I only believe in them theoretically, I've never put words or action to my belief in them as an organization. So I couldn't do a persuasive on it, it would be hypocritical, or at least it would be difficult not to be hypocritical. I could only ask the judges to believe in it as much as I do. And that would be enough to give a speech... I wasn't excited by that prospect.

The other organization that I thought about doing a persuasive on was To Write Love On Her Arms, and I didn't for the same reasons. But I wanted to do a persuasive, I still kind of do, so I did something about it. I went on the TWLOHA website, and I joined their street team. This is the first of many deeds with questionable motives. I didn't join the street team because I believe in TWLOHA - although I say I do and think I do - and I didn't join because I feel a great burden for hurt and broken people - although I say I do and I think I do - I joined because I wanted to be able to give a persuasive without being a hypocrite.

But it didn't stop there. Because, on the street team website, they have a points system. You complete orders, you get points towards ranks or perks or a store or whatever. :sigh: I'm already having enough trouble doing the right thing for the right reason, and they introduce an ulterior motive for doing good deeds. God save me from myself. And point systems. About a week ago, I was bothering everybody I knew who had a facebook to vote for TWLOHA in some contest that would win them a lot of money. I even made a video about it and got Andrew to post it on facebook. I found out about that whole thing from the street team website. I mean, sure, had it on the front page, but I found out what exactly they needed people to do, and I was able to do it. :warm fuzzies: Most of that stuff didn't earn me points, but I had to motivate myself to do those things. "Okay, Micah, you like making videos and maybe someone will watch it and vote. Just. Do. It." "Okay, Micah, there are a lot of people online. Chat them. Chat them now and tell them to vote. I don't care if you haven't spoken to them for months. Chat them." It's so much easier to do good things when we think we'll get a free t-shirt out of it.

Why? Are we really such fallen people that millions of suicides a year aren't enough motivation to do good deeds? Are we really so selfish that we need the prospect of points just to rise up and reach out to do something that - we know - will change someone else's life and possibly save it? One of the people I chatted was, like, "I like TWLOHA too, they make cool shirts and stuff." I think a little part of me died when I heard that. But, really, am I so different? I started doing that stuff just so that I wouldn't be a hypocrite when I gave a speech about something.

Lord, save us from ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we're overwhelmed rather than unmotivated. I'm not sure. Sometimes there are so many issues, so many sins, so many broken people... it's hard to know where to contribute and where not to.

    Or maybe we are, really, unmotivated. We're certainly trained to be lazy. It's hard to understand emotions we haven't particularly gone through.

    I think we're supposed to do what we can where we can. I don't know that passionately pursuing funds for TWLOHA (with the right motives :D), for instance, would be right if there's someone I know that needs hope that I can spend time with.

    This is definitely frustrating.