I got a message on Instagram yesterday for a famous actor — we’ve all had those, right? Well, this one was a little different; there were fewer compliments (though there were some), they spent a lot more time promoting this guy’s work, and the conversation ended within an hour. This is all very different from those conversations that dive into asking for stuff without a word about the person they are claiming to be, and then they keep going, pressuring you to give them whatever it is they want from you.
However, they did ask for ‘stuff’, i.e. money. The conversation started with the whole ‘being grateful to fans’ — I am not a fan, but apparently I came up in their search. I thought this was really cool since I had no idea that I ever come up in anyone’s search. And then they told me about an organisation this guy had set up and if I would donate £10,000 or £15,000 to be a member with special perks and stuff.
I thought this was really funny since I told them that I am an aspiring writer (a polite way of saying that I have no money) and that I have an organisation (a polite way of saying that all the money I have I already have a place that needs it). I told them that we are looking for funds for our project. I gave them our website address. I told them about our Phoenix Anthology of Citizen Voices project.
Eventually, I said that I can’t afford to donate there as well, and they asked how is my situation. I thought about it for a moment and wrote:
“Financial? 😂 not good. I’m waiting to be discovered. My book, Just Another Life, is amazing, but… waiting to be discovered. As soon as that happens, I will have some money. I need about 500,000 for the Dayton documentary, 200,000 to start the ngo school and then raise the rest, and we’ll need about 20,000 for the Phoenix project. And I would love to buy my own place, so let me make my first mil, cause that’s already spent, and then we’ll talk”
All true, BTW. It made me realise that I really have spent my first £1,000,000 long before I even started to earn it. Sure, most of the money is going on project that are community based, project that would benefit the society, projects I shouldn’t worry about, but I do and that is where I would spend my money if I had it.
That’s it. ‘The actor’ didn’t reply. So I started thinking about gratitude.
I’m old school when it comes to most things in life, especially ethics and morals. I like to show gratitude in proper way, not by asking for money, but by saying thank you and meaning it. Saying ‘I’m here to show gratitude’ and then asking for money seems a bit wrong.
Then again, it was just a message online. I mean, let’s face it, the world has never seen so many liars as it has now in the age of internet. Goodness! I mean, seriously, is it me, or are we just surrounded by liars?
Now lying! It seems that too many people don’t know what a lie is when they are on the internet. I’m sure some don’t realise they are lying all the time. So this needs to be said: If you say your name is John when your name is David, that’s a lie. Really, it is. You might have reasons, but the reasons do NOT change the fact that you are lying.
Lying is NOT part of gratitude. Even if you’re one of those idiots who thinks that aim justifies the means (probably the stupidest thing that has been accepted as a wise thing) lying is still insulting. How can we insult someone we are grateful to? Unless, our gratitude is also fake.
But then, why bother with fake gratitude?
Is gratitude a path to trust? We all know trust can be converted into money.
When we’re grateful, does it make us look good? Because good reputation can also be converted into money.
If we’re not sincerely grateful, why do we put effort into showing gratitude? Are we really THAT obsessed with money?
There has to be some gain, and some people have sense the gain, and the gain is what they are after. But what they actually accomplish is insulting the other person. I wasn’t insulted by that message yesterday — I think most of us are now expecting all sorts online, but this sort of stuff happens in real life too: People trading other people’s emotions for their own materialistic gain. What is wrong with us?
It takes so much to trust, to have a good opinion about someone, and it hurts like hell when the person you trust and have faith in turns around and uses that for their gain. So how did this become so widespread?
Have we become so morally poor that we’ll ignore all this sh1t we do to each other on a daily basis?
What kind of world can we expect to create with this sort of behaviour being completely acceptable?
Gratitude is a vital part of healthy human-to-human relations. Without that, we have no community. So are such people naturally too stupid to realise that they are asking for help from the community they are destroying in the process of depending on it? Talk about irony.
I want the community. I need the community. So I will destroy the community. — someone, help me make sense of this?
About the Creator
I'm an activist and a writer, born in Bosnia, grew up in the UK - yes, I know, another war-child who grew up a little too brave. I'm also a bit of a meverick. Please feel free to get in touch.