I gotta get this one off my chest. I do not frequently engage in comment situations on Facebook. It has been my experience and I am sure your experience as well that generally speaking, nobody values your dissonant opinion when they’re in the comments section of ANYTHING on Facebook. I know better. I usually do better, but today I didn’t.
This individual was essentially chastising Lebron James for opening a school because he was “not doing enough” and he is “not out in the community” and this is just a “small drop in the bucket for someone who is a millionaire” and went as far as to say he was only doing it for the tax write-offs.
My comment to her was simply that I hoped she chastised everyone for doing so little with their money if they have an abundance, and that thank goodness nobody actually listened to her state that such a small action (although let us be real, opening a school is not a small action) is essentially worthless.
Here’s my question – does it really matter WHY someone is trying to do some good? So what if someone gets a tax write-off for some of the good works they do. You can bet when I donated $11,000 worth of clothes last year I sure claimed that on my taxes. In fact, I did it specifically so I could claim it on my taxes. Does that negate the fact that now someone is out there able to wear clothes because I donated them? I don’t personally think so, but maybe I’m wrong in that assertion.
I just don’t get it. Comments like that make it seem as if you’re damned if you do or damned if you don’t. I am fairly certain if we all looked in the mirror, we probably couldn’t say that we’re donating to our highest potential – whether it be our money or time or what have you. I am quite sure that I am not donating gobs of my income. I help out here and there out of the kindness of my heart and my life philosophy is best described as “when you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence” but that doesn’t mean I am checking out every single cause out there and tossing money or time at it.
So tell me why a person can be so negative about something that is potentially so good? Her proclamation was that it will never bring back the people who are currently starving or dying in the communities right now as a result of shootings, etc. that are currently going on. I don’t disagree with her, it won’t. Does that mean that what he is doing doesn’t affect that?
Maybe it doesn’t affect that community she speaks of specifically, but it does affect a community out there. Taking at-risk youth and giving them a chance cannot be overstated as a potential to help really make a difference in this world. Maybe $2 million dollars a year that he’s putting toward this is not a big drop in the bucket, but does it have to be in order to affect real, positive change? I argue no. If we all continue to scream at these people who are actively out there doing something, anything, for their communities because they’re not doing our definition of “enough,” I wonder how much longer they’ll do anything at all?
I type this on my lunch break at my desk. My desk at a Fortune 500 company. A fortune 500 company that I am now a supervisor in, having been promoted just three short years into my career. A supervisor in a role that required a college degree. A college degree I never, ever would’ve been able to get if someone didn’t give me the kind of chance Lebron and his foundation are trying to dream up for kids in Ohio. Sometimes it isn’t the monetary amount that matters, it is the reminder that somewhere out there, someone actually cares and wants to see you thrive and succeed. According to all statistics I should be on government assistance. According to statistics, I should’ve been a teen mom. I broke through all of these barriers because people out there took a vested interest in my education. Because they gave me a chance. THEY made a difference.
Maybe instead of telling people how to spend their money and yelling at them for not doing enough, we should applaud them for doing anything at all. Maybe, just maybe we should look in the mirror and see if there is something we could be doing before we shoot them down. Don’t underestimate the power of an act of kindness, big or small. That mindset is cancerous and frankly. contributory to the negative world we currently live in.