There is a phrase, a motto, a saying – call it what you will – that really comes across to me as silly and insipid.
“Give back to your community.”
That mantra has been around for a couple decades, at least, and from the first time I heard it (probably on Oprah!), I found it a truly nonsensical saying.
People have praised the rich and famous, and subsequently cheered when the rich and famous donate their money, property, and the like to organizations in their hometown, their adopted new town, to who- or what-have-you.
“Ah, look how good he is! He gave back to the community.”
And from there, we – the average citizen – have been incessantly encouraged to do the same.
“Give back to your community!”
The idea is that if you make it big in the world in a legitimate way, you are “supposed” to give your well-earned earnings to society.
Let’s say I am an entertainer, and you paid to see me perform my craft. Is that not already giving something to you? Why would you want more of what I legitimately earned? Why should you or anyone, for that matter, push me to relinquish my hard-earned wealth? I have a craft you enjoy, you paid me to dance or sing or act, and now we are even. You paid me, and I performed for you.
It’s quid pro quo. Something for something.
Let’s also say I raised a family during the years. That was my responsibility – to raise a family and maintain that family so that no one would be a burden on society.
Yet I am still told to “give back.” We want your wealth.
Currently, I live in a golf course community. I discovered over the weekend that a golf fundraising event is being planned to raise money to build a memorial to veterans. (Military veterans, I guess.)
The missive went out to residents thusly:
Won’t you be a part of our community fundraising event by sponsoring a golf hole? A single hole cost for a sign that is 18” X 24” is only $50.00 each. (The sign is yours to keep after the event). Better yet why not sponsor the whole front nine or the whole back nine for only $250.00. That’s nine signs at nine different holes. Each sign will have names and/or business information about your sponsorship. All checks are to be made payable to XXX Golf Course. Given that, I am led to believe that this exercise in virtue signaling is more of the so-called legacy that some people in this neighborhood want to leave. It’s almost akin to a do-over or something along those lines. Pay money, get a sign, put it on your lawn, brag about your “caring.”
I find this whole “giving back to your community” a despicable exercise in virtue signaling. Forcing or pushing someone to give what they earned is jealousy and pushing guilt on people who worked hard for their wealth.
Humbleness is a virtue. If you are going to do some good, why boast and brag about it?
Just do good, and let the recipients thank you privately.
That alone should be your reward.
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