Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Monday, May 02, 2016

The Annihilation of Moral Sentiments

Some childish part of me reacts very badly when people push me too hard to do something.  For a while I went in to the blood donation center pretty much whenever I was eligible to give blood.  Now they've started to call me all the time to try to get me to schedule appointments.  (I don't think this is because of the scheduling aspect, I think they just want to increase donations.  There was always an available station whenever I would walk in.)  I accommodate them by setting up appointments at times I think will work, but often those times don't end up working, and so I just don't go in.  Then I feel guilty about missing my appointment, so I avoid donating for a while.  It's all very stressful and counter-productive.  I used to give a lot of blood!  Now I don't give very much.  Donating blood has become a psychological burden for me, making me feel like a bad person, where it used to make me feel like a good person.

I also resent it when politicians try to get me to "log in and commit to vote!" or shit like that.  Unlike with the blood situation, I'm not going to stop voting just because people are treating me like an infant, but it does make me kind of angry.  I guess there must be some psychological research that shows that people who have promised to vote are more likely to go out and vote.  And ultimately, I guess I'm okay with it, but it detracts from what ordinarily is a great experience for me (I love voting).

Of course the best example is probably donating to causes I believe in, whether charitable or political.  Thanks to my (very modest) generosity at previous points in my life, I have long been inundated with emails, physical mail, and phone calls.  One time I tried to save a guy some time by explaining that I never give money in response to phone solicitations, and he got really angry and told me to let him do his job.  So I listened to his spiel and then told him I never give money in response to phone solicitations.  The whole thing was very uncomfortable and guilt-inducing, and it sort of feels like a "no good deed goes unpunished" kind of thing.  (Also, if I give $50 to some cause, and over the years they send me 50 mailings asking for more money, it feels as though they are substantially squandering the resources I've given them.)

Anyway I freely admit that this is all childish and narcissistic, and if I were a better person I would keep my appointments and acknowledge the constraints that blood centers, charities, and political campaigns are operating under.  They've got to get their blood and/or money from somewhere, and a lot of people probably increase their giving thanks to these kinds of solicitations.  But since charity and political activism were sources of pride for me, and now I feel shameful and guilty about them instead, it's pretty unfortunate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you pick up a phone if you don't recognize the voice in 4 seconds just hang up. It saves both you and them time.

11:37 AM  

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