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The Thanksgiving Trend, Redemption by Selflessness

Around the fall holidays, we get filled with inspiration for living a better life. An autumn breeze and a turkey on the table reminds us of what we are thankful for. We remind ourselves of what we are grateful for. Thanksgiving brings up thankfulness, and you remember how there are tons of people less fortunate than you. Often, we see family and friends pick up a one-time volunteering gig around this time. Have you ever found yourself volunteering at a local church preparing soup? Maybe you donate canned goods to a food bank once a year, but whatever it may be, the reality of that fact is that we need every day. Yes, every day, and none of us are working hard enough to support these individuals in need every day.

Today's society is structured in such a way to promote good behavior only if it is making you feel good on the inside. After we do a good deed unnoticed, we just are dying to tell everyone we know. We crave for any feeling that or action that leads to a sense of worthiness. How much of these selfless acts are truly selfless? This is a question I find myself trying to answer. It does not help that it's all over the internet. Recordings and records everywhere. In my opinion, it's quite an unfortunately easy way to fame. And even more unfortunate, It’s gotten to the point where this kind of “helping” has become trendy. A one time bandwagon with instant gratification. It brings up the ever so newly apparent issue of homelessness tokenism. Using them as a means of self redemption and boosting one's own moral. At this age of technology, smartphones are pointed their way, to capture this wonderful moment. We are pressuring the homeless to perform intense and over the top reactions of gratitude on our behalf. For the sake of the viewer. We want to know what this one time act of (sometimes) selfishness is changing their lives for the better. And if it's not to the recorders liking, its risks defaming, and internet slander of the homeless community. We call them “greedy”, “draining”, a “waste of space”, all in the name of face saving.

If you haven't been homeless, I don't feel like you could understand the uncomfortableness. That's simply standpoint point theory. But at the least, we can try and imagine. Picture yourself in these shoes. It hasn't been a very good day so far, and a group of teens walk up to you, all of them with their phones out, and give you let's say forty-dollars. Maybe this attracts some bystanders. Multiple phones pointed in your direction. You know a simple “thank you” will not satisfy them. You could be shy like me, and just not want to share your immediate feelings of appreciation, with them, total complete strangers. but you know you will be portrayed as a villain or drain on society, that is deserving of their conditions, in a few minutes. We should not be putting them in a position of pleasing people.

Why does the moral obligation of helping, follow through around this Thanksgiving. We eat everyday. People need help everyday. Not just when you feel up to it. And to do anything less implies you're full of fallacious inconsistencies. And to continue on after realizing this implies even worse things about your character. We need to stop acting like our acts of selflessness aren't entirely based on pure selfishness. You don’t need to make a video about how much you are because you gave someone ten dollars. The homeless community is relying on us to do better, to take the first step in fighting the problem. But instead we are using them, with no real intention of making a difference.

Written by, Moses Taylor



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