For as long as I can recall, I have been giving to charitable causes, and no doubt will continue to support them for as long as there is money in the piggy bank. Having said that I have recently had reason to question the in-your-face promotion of some well-known big charities who seem to think that by just ringing me at around evening meal time to ask for donation is going to lead to me digging deeper into my resources.
In the past such a request would have been immediately successful, but not now, particularly as there are so many charities chasing the same dollar.
I have learned to say no, even to those smooth-tongued professionals, subtly begging a moment of my valuable time before hitting me with the hard sell. But while I am able to refuse on the telephone, it is much harder to turn down the on-the-street approach.
A recent experience led me to firmly turning down an invitation to give, leading to an exchange of views which left me more than a little rattled. Not wishing to take it further was probably a mistake, as surely this large charity needs to know just when its collectors overstate the case.
My sympathy for good causes is considerable, particularly as the national lottery is very good at taking a sizeable chunk of the cake which once equally divided among the numerous causes.
All rather sad, but a clear indication of the greed factor which has taken over our lives. Getting a return for our cash seems to be a must for at least some.
But to those charities who already have my support, don’t worry, as I will continue to support you even if I am not likely to increase my direct debit next time you call. Be thankful for what you are already extracting from my shrinking bank balance.
And finally, like many others I have been entranced by the flood of gold medals won at the European Athletic Games in Zurich. Wow was that really Great Britain at the head of the medal table at the end of nearly a week of intensive competition?
Interestingly for someone who has a huge interest in sport, I was just a little sceptical about the success, for it seemed to me that the commitment of the winning athletes was way beyond the call of duty. All but a handful are in fact full-time, making for introverted lives, totally consumed by the task of bringing home the bacon, but at what cost?
Fine if you are a winner, of which there are only a few, but what if you get on that slippery slope of failing to make qualifying times, leading to the withdrawal of funding, much of it from the aforementioned national lottery? A tough life, even at the top, and for most North-east hopefuls a distant dream, but then if we don’t have a dream, how are we going have a dream come true?
So while I wish every young sportsperson in the area all they wish for themselves, but would caution be careful of what you wish yourselves.