Saturday, November 07, 2009

Flag Selling in Hong Kong

On a cool Saturday morning, a father accompanies his boy selling stickers for a charity - a scene that gives one a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is not easy. There are more cold shoulders than eager donorss. For many people, it is not easy overcoming our natural shyness. The father is probably thinking: I would rather not to have to do it; but I am doing this for my boy; I have to show him how to do it.

There is also the hurt to our pride - it is embarrassing to have to ask people for money, even though the mone is not for me. But I look at it this way: when I help a charity raise funds, I am giving the people I approach an opportunity to do a good deed. They should be thankful to me, not the other way around.

Most of the donors seem to be happy doing it. And they are from all walks: men, women, young, old, well-dressed, plain, ...

There is a team with a strategy: send the pack of eager kids out to hand out the stickers, with the parents hanging back. They come up to help only when the kids need them. It works well, when you have eager kids.

A thought came across my mind. Most kids are curious, gregarious, friendly and helpful, just like these kids selling flags. Why is it that so many of them, when they grow up, turn out self-centered, inward looking, immediate satisfaction-seeking, and short-sighted? What did we do wrong raising them? Is it because we are like that ourselves? And the kids simply immitate their parents and other adults?

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