I’ve noticed a rising phenomenon in our social media. Once it hits critical mass, it’ll be interesting to see what direction it takes.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the trend. Someone posts a personal story of misfortune or mistreatment. Others express sympathy and/or indignation, then share the story throughout social media until it officially goes viral. Generous people set up a PayPal account, or some other means of giving money, and the gifts pour in. The person responds with astonishment and thankfulness.
Everyone feels good. Everyone wins.
Sometimes the story proves fake. By the time the givers learn this, their money is gone. Another instance of need or injustice pops up, but this time they’re not so quick to pull out the credit card. They have big hearts and love to help, but they want to give to a real need. Not a scam.
Takers are good at figuring out how to milk any system. If I’ve seen the sob-story potential in the social media, they surely have, too. Right now, I know of several stories that touch off my “suspect” button, and this gives me the idea that the trickle of those taking advantage is on its way to becoming a torrent.
So, everyone loses.
Givers never really lose. When David and I show up with his wheelchair, I see kindness all around us. People are eager to open doors or help in any way they can, and their acts of generosity benefit them even more than they do us. I watch it happen. I feel it happen to myself when I give, and I’ve been scammed more than once.
If I’m right, and the trickle becomes a torrent, it’ll be interesting to see how we deal with that. Because takers are clever, but givers have wise hearts.