Is Doing Good Deeds For The Wrong Reason A Bad Thing?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Dec 23, 2010
Every once in awhile we all question someone else’s motives for some of the things they do. When it’s contained to something relatively insular, it’s not such a big deal. When it gets into something larger, possibly altruistic, suddenly things get muddy.
Locally there’s going to be a benefit for a family that lost a daughter. The event is going to be relatively huge, as it was an event that made national news, with the money going to a good cause.
The issue that’s come up are the motives for the person putting it together and the people who are allowing it to happen on their turf. Based on track record, it’s almost a guarantee that months, even years later, this person will be marketing themselves and talking a lot about how he put this particular event together. The location of the event is brand new, looking to garner some good publicity, and what better way to get on the map than to host this event.
So, motives are questionable, but does it matter? To some it does. They feel that morally if you’re going to do something that’s nice for someone else you should mean it, otherwise don’t do it at all.
I don’t have that same feeling, strangely enough. I like to look at balance when it comes to things like this. What’s more important overall; the better good or the motives of the person doing it? This question comes up over and over across the country.
There are strippers who bind together in some communities and hold fundraisers for things such as cancer research or children’s programs, and often those programs are hesitant to accept the money because they fear it will deter others from giving. Some biker groups have done the same thing. I tend to believe that just because someone lives a lifestyle that others might frown upon is no reason to disallow them to show the gift of charity. Also, many rich people give a lot of money because they can write it off on their taxes; should I care?
I will add this, though. I also believe there’s a difference between groups offering money that are legal as opposed to groups whose backgrounds are questionable. For instance, if it were a hate group I’d certainly hope an organization that believed in something else would turn that money down. Or if the group getting together earned their money through illegal means, I’d hope the group would be discerning in whether or not they should accept that money. That can be a tough call because without real proof who’s to say how anyone makes their money?
Oddly enough, I can relate this to a topic I wrote on earlier this year on dealing with phony people. As much as I hate to, the reality is that it’s still better to be treated with courtesy as opposed to being treated with open hostility. Sometimes, it’s best to just tolerate something that promote something worse.
What’s your opinion on all of this? Do you really care why someone gives money, or do you applaud them for giving it anyway?
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