In 1985 Dire Straits came up with a catchy tune intended to be a jab at what the average working man thought about musicians. While the lyrics were at times sexist, racist, and homophobic they had a point: “How can we justify the large salaries that popular musicians earn?”
Here we are, 20 years later and it’s as if Dire Straits was able to see the future. Earnings for jobs that seem easy (compared to daily manual labor) have skyrocketed. Salaries for those 1% (the amount of people who make it in certain fields) of Athletes, Politicians, Musicians, and Actors, are over the freaking moon, and you’ve either become totally pissed off about it, or completely complacent in your own feelings because it’s not like things are going to change anytime soon.
Maybe my complacency isn’t as complacent as I thought. That might be why the little things are starting to really piss me off. Little things like the message we are sending to our kids when we tell them it’s okay to ask for money for nothing.
Money for nothing is the belief that just because there is something we want, that maybe we feel we deserve, but can’t afford or even we can afford, we rationalize that it’s okay to ask for the funds from strangers… for nothing. I’m not talking about GoFundMe, or fundraisers based on natural disasters, or illness, or Walkathons, I’m talking about these groups of kids and parents that it seems you can find on any given weekend, asking for donations for sports teams.
The reason this irks me so, is that we live in a commerce based society: I want money, I create a product, you want my product, I sell it to you, I earn money. I’m not just going to give you money because you asked for it. If you want money then you have to EARN it. You want to solicit donations to play on a specific team, then ask your family and friends for donations. They love you, they love your kid, they have your best interests at heart. If you want money from me, a stranger, then sell me a cookie you baked, or some yummy lemonade, or wash my car… that would be freaking awesome, I hate washing my car, but don’t just ask for donations outside the supermarket and give me a dirty look like I belong in the depths of hell for not sponsoring your kid’s dream. That is your job! My job is to look after the dreams of my children and I will donate when I’m able to a charity. You do remember charity right? Organizations that help people in need? Yeah, I thought so.
After this past weekend where this EXACT thing happened to me and I then watched the “dirty look mom” drive off in her Lexus SUV, I threw my hands in the air. All these parents are doing is raising little beggars, and I, for one, think that’s a not-so-fantastic life lesson. Call me crazy but I’d hate to see the product of that work-ethic.
There are currently so many different charitable organizations that need help, school arts programs are being slashed in half, veterans are being treated like second class citizens, war-torn countries are on the news every night, and you can’t watch the TV for 30 minutes without seeing Sarah McLachlan and those poor animals… if little Johnny wants to go to football camp, if Amber wants to be a cheerleader, if Joe wants to play on a soccer team, then bake some cookies for Christ’s sake.
I could totally use a cookie.