Saturday, December 24, 2016

Charities

Hello everybody, it's that time of the year again, where the festivities are coming to an end. I love the time after Halloween onward where it's time to prepare for Christmas. Now, now, don't tell me that Christmas preparations aren't supposed to start before December, I agree with the retail counterparts of advertising for Christmas after Halloween. I mean, ever since I became a minimalist, I don't even shop that much anymore, especially if it's for clothes, I'll tell you that. I splurge on food and also skincare products, like soap and moisturiser, but that's about it. I'll talk more about my minimalism in a different blog post. BUT THE COSTA CHRISTMAS SPECIALS THOUGH! HOW CAN YOU RESIST THAT? AND THE GREGGS PASTIES! (Okay, I'll calm down now)

Anywho, this post is about charity. In the spirit of giving, the lovely and kind people all around the world are more than willing to help out the poor. Soup kitchens open, churches giving out free tea and coffee to the homeless and just about anyone that would stop and have a chat. It's amazing how many people are more than happy to spare loose change during this season more than any other time of the year. Now, I don't mean to be a cynic, but a lot of us only tend to give during Christmas time. But this really isn't about people at all. 

Rather, this is about charity organisations. Do you realise that during this time of the year, charities go all out to rake as much donation from the people as well. I mean, I suppose it's all for a good cause, so it's okay, right? It's all for helping others during this time where a lot of people cannot afford a Christmas tree, right? But then again, I beg to be heard. I don't doubt that the donation made are going to help some people. But I do doubt how a lot of the money are used by charities. For instance, advertising. Advertisement for charities are not free, where does that money come from? Yes, donations. Administration fee, from donation. Volunteer payments, donations. Yes, there are paid volunteers. A lot of the money get spent on the administrative part of the institution. And the money comes out from the donations. 60K salary for the director of a charity, really? Is that what my donation is going towards? Most of us give money to charities with the sole intention of 100% of the donation going to the people who need it, but this really isn't the case at all.

Also, one more thing I hate about charities are that they sell your information to get more money. So, ever wondered how those people who are selling PPI claims and all that get your number? Most of the time, it's from the subscription that you make, where they have a clause stating that they will share it with 3rd party organisations, which you can refuse by unticking the check box, but all charity sell your information for money. This is why I have added my number to the TPS system which does not let institutions with no affiliation with you contact you.

If ever someone contacts you about a PPI claim, don't hang up, ask them to remove your details from their system, otherwise, your data will continued to be stored. This is one of the bad things about giving to charities. I still get contacted by these PPI claims or whatever, but I firmly tell them to remove my data from their system. A lot of times, it's about telling them to remove my data before they hang up. It's really an annoyance.

Further to that, this is the season for guilt-tripping. I hate the guilt-tripping tactics that charities adopt during this festive season. Sure, I'll give to charities, but how many charities do they expect you to give? Also, charity volunteers are thought to touch you when they are speaking to you because psychologically this is to create a form of connection with you and you'd be more likely to donate. I don't mean to be a snob but I hate being touched, so, this actually has the opposite effect on me. 

Charity volunteers get bonuses depending on how many people they sign on and that's why they request your card details when you are there and they try their best not to let you go away and think about it. It's a shame really that all these jobs require their employees to haggle with people, it takes away the sincerity of the charity. 

I'm honestly not sorry because I would much rather volunteer my time rather than give money unless I know the money is being put for good use in my local community. Call me a sceptic but I'd rather much spend my money where I know exactly what it's being used for. I contact a charity organisation directly to ask them how much of the percentage raised goes towards the cause and it helps me make an informed decision as to whether or not I choose to give to them. I think times have changes since digital media got spread, I used to just give to charities without thinking twice, but now, especially after what I know, I just don't want my wage going to something that I don't believe in or something that goes partially to the administrative part of the charity without them actually letting me know that it goes there. 

Lastly, I would say that during this time of the year, the guilt tripping goes on with people giving "But it's Christmas" as a reason. Sorry, but that's not a good enough reason. If you'd like me to list a number of charities that I do give to, I'd be more than happy to, but I'd rather you asked me privately rather than stating it over here. Now, I'm not saying that I'm a saint or that I give consistently to charities but I choose my poison in any situation and charities are not poison per se but I think you may know what I mean. 

Till my next post. xx

Friday, December 2, 2016

Reading and writing

Hello, hello! The festive spirit is in full swing and it's once again that time of the year where we've got fairy lights everywhere (ERMAGAHD), music filling the streets, toys in every store, sale everywhere (not that I shop for things since I adopted a minimalist lifestyle) and best of all, discounts on flight fares! Hurrah! I always say that travel journeys expand thinking and allows gained insight to things you would have never thought about before. 

Hence, here I am again! This time, I wanted to talk about my love for books, and writing. I knew I was an odd cookie when there was once a motivational speaker that came to my lower secondary cohort to give a speech and he asked, if you wanted information and you had a video or a book, which would you go first and apparently, the answer was video and I was literally there like, "Mate, you haven't heard of reading books first before you watched the movie?" and back then, I thought he was the biggest idiot of all time, which I still think so too as well, although to a lesser extent. 

I'm that person or rather as I frequently refer to myself as, a baby whale, that can be left on its own just reading. I enjoy long hours at the airport when I make the dreaded journey home (not so often) as long as I'm equipped with a good book. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way and a lot of people prefer watching a movie or watching videos, which I'm not excluded from. But, in reference to information, I would rather like to read, whereas watching videos to me allows me to gain insight into other people's lives. I find people's lives fascinating and their daily routine interesting as we all live in this lovely planet called earth and yet, even if we were on the same course, or the same job, our daily routine differs extensively.

I find people so interesting, yet, my social anxiety only allows intervals of interaction with humans otherwise, I do feel hopelessly depressed. Judging by my personality, people take it as an outgoing and an almost never being offended type of character, but I do get worn down by people a lot. I am an introvert after all. I think often, people misunderstand what it means by being an introvert and an extrovert, people can be an introvert but outgoing, and people can be an extrovert but shy. It's possible to have any sort of combination when it comes to character and personality type. It comes as a surprise to a lot of people that I'm now comfortable to speak about my likes and dislikes and emotions which previously I haven't been so open about. 

I still think there is a barrier between myself and people, I highly distrust although always favouring giving the benefit of the doubt. But in most cases, I express myself most effectively through my writing. I feel that through my writing, I am able to be myself, to allow my thoughts to come out as raw as my thoughts would allow and never filtering my disapproval (although on many occasions I do- certainly in an academic piece of writing). 

The thoughts and code of conduct of others often limits us to expressing true opinions and often is the case when we choose to suppress our opinion for the benefit of being liked or accepted. I have spoken about this a couple of times in the past, where it's better to stand for something than to hold nothing of importance. I still feel the same way. The negligence of our own thoughts should be a crime of it's own, however, wording it is as important or otherwise of higher importance in a social setting. Some behaviours are deemed unacceptable when respect and gratitude are not observed at all times. However, I still feel this is rather cultural and in many aspects I enjoy the behavioural shaping of an individual based on their culture and appreciate the diversity although at times some culturally accepted behaviour do vex me tremendously. 

The freedom that writing gives me as an individual gives me independence and a platform to write and share my thoughts. However, till today, I still feel that some people feel it necessary to openly assume that they know me through my writing. Unfortunately, as much as I lay it out there, no one can ever know the writer. As much as linguistic study and literature reviews go, you never know the author, you know what they're thinking at a particular time, you will never know the author unless they allow you to know them and any form of false praise is never appreciated. Hence is such with creative minded people, transparent is the mind of the one who judges. 

Till my next post. xx