Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who can it be knocking at my door?

The TV was too loud to ignore the ringing of my doorbell. I'd just discovered a slew of new HD channels on cable and was fully enjoying the full benefits of digital media when the interruption occurred. Without a chance to pretend no one was home, I had to go see who was calling.

As usual, another salesman-type, this one purporting to represent the Community Chest collecting funds for wheelchairs for the disabled. It all looked quite legitimate, with serialized receipts and the name of the Community Chest in bold on some small print of a document he was showing me through my firmly barred front gate. Does the Community Chest really come around door-to-door soliciting donations? Do they afterwards make the donor write their particulars down on a form so that an "official" receipt can be sent later?

There were too many unanswerable questions and my closed mind was not prepared to accept long explanations from an itinerant supplicant outside my door -- "Family Guy" (in HD; but there isn't any real point to watch an animated series in HD, is there?) was on and I really wanted to get back to my sofa ASAP. Plus, being recently suspicious of charity appeals, having been bilked of my goodwill once too often, I politely declined and sent him on his way.

But what if his case was a genuine one? What if I had turned away an opportunity to help someone who really needed it? I find it so difficult to tell on a case-by-case basis any more and I am no longer as eager as I was to give the benefit of the doubt now. I blame society.

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