Once upon a time in a not so distant past, people would go door to door, campaigning for their special charity. Many people would answer their doors to strangers, listen to their cause, and donate a small token. But times have changed. Rarely, people campaign door to door, and rarely people donate to strangers.
It was just this past weekend the not so distant past came knocking on my door. It was a dark,cold evening, and two young men were standing outside, canvasing for their high schools charity. I gave them the suspicious once over, decided they didn’t look like thugs, and let them in to warm up.
They were eager to discuss their schools campaign, they had pamphlets, they were knowledgable of the charity, and didn’t give me an uneasy feeling that I normally would get from a potential scammer. They seemed earnest, sincere, and very polite.
As I listened to their spiel - I decided I would donate a small sum to their campaign. I filled out the donation form and asked “So, are you guys having any luck with door to door donations?”
One young man responded, “The the last couple of hours have not been going well. But, your small block has been quite generous and has given us hope.”
I chuckled “Oh! It’s nice to hear our little block has reaffirmed your hopes.”
As the young men exited, I closed the door, and Mr. MBA walked over with a small scowl on his face. “You do realize you just gave them this evening’s beer money?”
“I did not!”
“Oh! You so did!”
“Do you think they were scammers?”
‘But they had the pamphlets, they were polite, and there was nothing wrong with their body language.”
“You wanna bet?”
I was feeling cocky “I’ll bet you dinner at Chops because I know I’m right.”
“So how are we going to prove who is right? And who is wrong?”
“Let’s google the school!”
We checked out the schools web site and yes they were campaigning for this very special cause.
I gave a whoop, a jump, and with gusto I exclaimed, “Take that!”
Mr. MBA sighed and rolled his eyes,”Fine. But it really doesn’t prove anything.”
It was true it really didn’t prove anything but it did get me dinner at Chops.
I wondered was I too optimistic about people? Maybe Mr. MBA was right, and it was beer money. As I begun to second guess my instincts…I thought have we grown so cynical towards people that we need to question every motive? Worry about potential scammers?
Instead, I pushed those thoughts aside and decided to enjoy the view from my rose-colored glasses. The view was of a not so distant past when people trusted the kindness of strangers and believed their motives were altruistic. It is after all the holidays, it is about the spirit of giving, and believing the best in everyone.