Playing on guilt…

Yesterday, there was someone at the door around 1.30 in the afternoon. Now, we were not expecting anyone. When I peeped through the window, someone was eagerly waiting with a file in his hands. A couple of times before, it has happened that the visitors for the house next to us would knock our door. Thinking of the same, I opened the door. The guy smiled at me and I didn’t know him. S was busy with some call and I was not sure if he was S’s friend. Within the next couple of minutes, he introduced himself and before I could decide whether I should call him in or not, he helped himself in (while still wearing his shoes!). He again introduced himself –

I am XXXXX.. I am coming for XXXXX organization. We are doing a noble task of volunteering for collecting funds for this organization that helps educate the girl child.

Again, before I could think through he pointed at our sofa and said “after you, ma’m”. My mind was too slow and I really couldn’t get him. As he kept repeating it, I couldn’t do nthing much but offer him to sit. Thankfully the husband came back from his call. After another round of introductions and a number of “after you, sir” statements, both of them were seated. He went on and on about the initiative, the benefits of the program for a good amount of time. And then, he dropped the bomb that we are free to pay any amount from their multiple choices (all in a few thousands).

The husband looked on to me and I was speechless. Ok, I did understand their noble effort and I would have really wanted to donate profusely if I could. I tried to explain him our current situation where in, it would be highly impossible to shell out some thousands, all of a sudden like this. At first he tried to listen. But soon, he was cutting me off and very animatedly explained the benefits of his organization.

First, I am very uncomfortable infront of total strangers. Both S and I are very bad at small talks. On top of it, this guy was not even giving me a minute to explain myself – I was a bit irritated. I again patiently tried to explain him, why it would be impossible for us right now. He turned towards me, raised his eyebrows and said – “Mam.. its just a matter of few hundreds every month.. why don’t you understand that?” His eyes were ready to shoot me at this point of time.

I suddenly felt very guilty. Yes, its only a few hundreds every month. But if I have to donate it all at once, its quite not possible – that too on such short notice. Even after I told him this, he kept on going about making us feel very guilty. I felt very bad, saying No everytime. And that was the fuel to his talk I guess. The husband said that though it might look like a small amount for him, believe us – with our current financial situation, it’s a big amount and its going to be tough for us. There is no shame accept or revealing our current situation.

As much as I would have loved to help the initiative, there really was no way!  At one side was the guilt he was sowing in our hearts and on the other side was our own inability to convince this guy, even after 15-20mins. He finally agreed to accept the donation for six months instead of a year. While he was filling the forms, I brought out my cheque book. Guess what he says on getting my cheque – “Mam can I please put you for a year? Think of the smile on that child’s face when she get all the good things in her life.. “ I didn’t know how to react anymore. I looked totally helpless I guess, he accepted to write down only six months’ amount.

I am happy that I could donate this very little inspite of the many hardships going on, but the guilt has still not left me. I think that’s where he succeeded. I was so mad at him, for this entire process is not correct according to me. How can someone come to our house with no notice, take your money but make us feel terribly guilty?!

He has no right to judge me. Yes, I am staying in Bangalore as I have no choice. Yes, I am working in a reputed IT organization. But all these doesn’t mean I am well-off or I am lavishly spending my money. Every penny is spent after multiple calculations. How do I make someone who wouldnt listen at all, understand this? I really want to contribute more, but not because I feel guilty. Because I can and I should. May be now is not the time.


22 thoughts on “Playing on guilt…

  1. In my opinion it is not fair to make someone feel guilty and extract money whatever may be the reason. Many times it has happened with b and me. These people they never let us talk and that is where they take the upper hand. And they carry an album full of pics to make us feel guilty.
    Frankly GB I don’t know how many of them are true. If you want to do it, find an organization, enquire about it and then donate.
    There is one which helped me for my studies and since they helped me I am 100% sure that when I donate the money is used for the intended purpose.
    And please don’t let strangers inside even if S is with you.We have to be cautious in today’s world.

  2. O god…GB u have written my story…I am receiving so many phone calls for sick children who need immediate surgery and the parents are poor…after donating a few times, I started refusing and only I know that how difficult it is; and subsequent feeling of guilt is indescribable..*sigh*
    And, how tot check the genuineness of call/person – is still a question for me !!

  3. right, this is what I HATE. Why do these guy do this charity is supposed to be what WE want to give, as much as we want to give, They should not be setting a AMOUNT and time ..

    I would not have given a penny after the way he talked, yes I am not heartless but I dont beleive the people who come and ask in the name of charity as out of that money , less than HALF reaches those who we intend to give, the charity workers-directors-office etc etc are the MOST WELL PAID jobs, you dont believe do a search, many of the charities have influential people as directors or on their board yet they are PAID. so charity does not start at home for them..

    I have a draft written with a similar experience I will put that up 🙂

    Totally 100% understand what you are saying …

  4. that’s what most smart people do GB.. play with our guilt.. stay strong.. you did the right thing.. you will be best person to decide when you can do it.. how can someone else decide for us? what right do they have to judge us? why cant he go and ask the politicians who loot crores and crores? middle class people are always the target for everything..we are the people who live with conscience and humanity.. hugs to you..

  5. We actually say this straight at the face of the volunteer or whoever the person is, that we have got other commitments and we are doing our bit through other channels. We contribute How much we want to, and When we want to and not When the so said stranger has to meet his target.

  6. GB dear…Hugs Hugs dear. Been there,sometimes done that. Used to happen quite frequently at our place. They employ all sorts of methods to get money from us.please Don’t feel guilty.You have donated with a good intention and lets hope that it gets used properly. This guy had the nerves to welcome himself in!! I do understand how vulnerable we are in these kinda situations. Many a time,even after sending them off,it used to run in my mind for sometime until something else distracts.but it’s okay. You gave with good intentions and take care next time onwards. Hugs GB

    • Thanks for understanding my state, Ramya. I am not sure if my money is going to be enough or not, but I could only give that much. Even then, I felt really guilty. Only after thinking a lot did I understand how he played on with my guilt until he succeeded. Anyways, I cross checked the org for which I donated the money.. it seems genuine, so hoping it gets used some way. Thanks again, for being there.

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