Two weeks ago, I organised a charity bake sale for Macmillan at One Black Bear. Macmillan provides medical, emotional, practical and financial support, as well as campaigning for better cancer care in the UK. If you’d like to learn more about them you can click here.
We all know someone either directly or have heard of someone who has fallen prey to cancer. It does affect us all in one way or another:
- Since 2014, there have been 356,860 new cases of cancer in the UK and 163,444 deaths.
- 50% of people who have had cancer are surviving for 10+ years.
- 42% of cases of cancer are preventable.
Imagine the above on a global scale, as the UK is only a tiny country. They’re pretty scary facts when you come to think of it.
Each year Macmillan hosts coffee mornings to raise money for their charity. These take place up and down the country where people bake cakes and sell them. On Friday 29th September, us bears managed to raise just over £200. On behalf of One Black Bear, I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping raise money for a great cause.
Selfless good deeds
To me charity is a really big thing and as the title suggests, ‘it’s good to give’. My parents encouraged me to give money to charity and to save money when I was growing up, but only one of these stuck.
I almost cried when I saw how much we raised for Macmillan. I then scrambled to make sure any left over cakes were given away to parents on their way home to see their kids and even to the homeless gentleman who sleeps on the steps near the office building. Nothing went to waste and that was a good feeling.
‘Friends’ fans, you may recognise the below. Joey is going to be on TV for a charity telethon. Phoebe and Joey have a debate about good deeds and if they’re ever truly selfless.
You can see the full scene below:
I believe Joey is correct, even if you are helping someone else it feels good to do so and therein lies the selfish element. We give to feel good. I felt really full of happiness once we wrapped up the cake sale and when I cut my hair for charity.
I cut my signature long locks (12 inches) for charity two months ago. This was for the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs from real hair for children who have gone through or are going through cancer.
I received questions like “Aren’t you scared?“, “Why not just give money?” and “Won’t you miss it?” I can answer all three now:
- No I wasn’t scared. I grew my hair as long as I could in one year with the intent of cutting it. It meant there were days where I had to braid it, due to the length and it being uncooperative but I was excited to go to a long bob. It was something I wanted to do. I picked a specific salon which could enhance their own social media following from the post. So it was all very thought through.
- Why not do both?
- I do miss my long hair now it’s getting cold but hair grows back and my hair grows at a ridiculous pace.
Not everyone wants to take part in the notion of good deeds and a few examples of objections can be found below:
But Selina, I don’t like people!
Ok fair enough, we all feel like this at some point in our lives and there’s probably been a serious of anecdotal incidents which have made you feel like this. Not all people are terrible. Compassion and empathy (not to be confused with sympathy) is what needs to be exercised here.
If the above doesn’t resonate with you, then animals and helping children are your best bet.
Charity starts at home!
Ok, but there are other ways to be selfless. Selflessness is not above giving money, it’s just about giving. Which brings me nicely onto my next point.
You don’t lose anything by giving
This is something people need to realise. Spare money if you have it, but it can be anything like a good gesture or a selfless act. It doesn’t need to have a monetary element to it. Also, giving money to homeless people doesn’t necessarily help them. Go and get them a hot meal, it will be appreciated.
‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ is a book written by Susan Jeffers which enhances personal growth. In a section dedicated to giving, Susan provides different ways to help others which goes beyond the monetary element we all associate with giving. A condensed list can be found below:
I think the above are pretty self-explanatory and the world needs more of this than the negativity we seem to encounter in one shape or form on a daily basis. ‘It’s about having, giving, sharing and receiving’. Yes, I just quoted ‘Friends’ again.
What goes around comes back around
So why do I give? Other than the lovely feeling, I believe in karma. Every action I make has an effect on me eventually. This is again where some selfishness comes into play. Why would I do something bad which will inevitably return back to me? It doesn’t make sense does it? Now if you apply this to good deeds, then I believe not only is the world a better place for doing so, but equally the universe will return the good karma to me from these actions.
There is however a huge difference between being a nice person, a pushover and a dick. You want to do the first thing but not the rest. ‘Don’t be a dick’ is my life motto, if you find this vulgar then we’re probably not friends. The watered down version of this maxim is, ‘Be a nice person’. I truly believe you can be a nice person and not be a push over.. without being a dick about it. Oh hey, look at that it came full circle.
Now I ask you, what have you done for someone else lately?