Friday, December 17, 2010

Give without asking

Please give

I probably have dozens of pet peeves but there is one in particular which gets on my nerves more often than others.

I absolutely detest it when someone asks my opinion whether there is a need to exercise an act of charity or generosity on others. I also detest it when someone asks me whether I would like to participate in an act of charity or generosity towards others.

Some examples:

Should I tip the waiter/waitress?

Do you think I should buy so-and-so a gift since so-and-so has been such a good host to you?

Do you want to chip in some money so that we can buy some food for the beggar who keeps coming to our table?

Am I cheap for feeling annoyed about this? Absolutely, yes but I think it makes the person asking my opinion or contribution even cheaper, and not to mention insensitive.

My take is, if you really want to tip the waiter/waitress, just bloody do it. Why would you need my approval? As long as the tip comes from your pocket, it’s your prerogative but please don’t try to make me feel bad by asking for my opinion because it makes me the bad person if I don’t think the waiter/waitress deserves to be tipped. (And if you can’t make such a simple decision on your own, you probably don’t understand the concept of tipping.)

By asking me whether you should buy something for someone who has been nice to me is just way out of line and you may have already offended many other people in your life. I would prefer it if you ask me whether I would like to consider showing my appreciation to that someone by giving him/her a gift myself. Don’t try to make me feel and look bad by making yourself look good.

It’s not that I don’t want to part with the little money that is needed to make a beggar happy, I just think it’s something that should come from me. If you want to be charitable, go ahead. Yay! Kudos to you but don’t ask. Just do it and leave me and my money out of it because it may be something you feel strongly about, it doesn’t mean I feel the same way. Plus, always remember that people contribute in different ways and it doesn’t always have to be in monetary form.

So, if you’re really hot on the giving, then don’t ask and don’t tell.

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