Monday, December 18, 2006

Comments?

After posting this comment to Owen's blog this evening, I decided to post it here as well because, actually, I had been thinking about writing this entry all day. However, our accounting software decided to go bat-shit and I didn't have time. I was an hour late leaving work and then, I forgot about it until I read Owen's blog.

As I pointed out to Owen at [his company] party, the perfect example of the difference between his party and mine were that, while his party featured a large ice sculpture of the company logo that undoubtedly cost several hundred dollars, at our party, we didn't even have ICE...no kidding. We drank semi-warm pop.

Also, they were very proud that the company of 60+ employyes had sponsored two, count them TWO local foster children for Christmas. I was nonplussed. We've had retired copules sponsor entire families with 3 or 4 children at our office, buying them not only necessities like socks, underwear and food, but luxuries, like toys, books, games and a new 30" TV.

It just goes to show you that, while there are indeed instances of ostentatious and grossly self-indulgent overspending, there are also people who are so generous it will make you cry at how beautiful human kindness can be.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I work for a non-profit at night (in the same line of work as Sarah's), but I also work for corporate-America - a publicly traded A/D firm. This is my opinion (after reading both Owen's and Sarah's blags). I loved the Christmas Party that my corporate company threw for us. My non-profit company didn't have one because no one could find weekends that were available to even half of the employees. And, after three minutes of soul searching, I don't really mind the big bash (similar to Owen's party) my company threw for us. We all work very hard over the year, we put up with our Farsi-speaking hot-headed General Manager, I practically sell my first born to many companies begging for products to be shipped to me early, ect... we all work hard - and it's nice the company allows us a party at the end of the year so we can get to know our coworkers and their spouses as, well, a person. We could have spent half as much at a regular restruant and donated the rest - and I KNOW all money is needed - but then our hard working reward wouldn't have been there (we don't get $ bonus), and that would have made everyone sad and that would have led to a lower morale and that would have led to less productivness.

I spend a lot of my evenings wondering how I can do something more to help others (and I do help others - freely) but I've come to realize that if I spend my entire life resenting the things I work for, just because somebody else can't get a fair shake at life - then I'm going to be one miserable person. And I can't be effective working for my non-profit if I'm miserable. That would lead to one giant downward spiral.

I think that the solution lies not only in the spending of corporate america, but in the willingness of the average citizen to help someone else out. If every citizen spent their time/money on others, then Corporate-America wouldn't have to carry much burden at all. And, really, I think that it is the responsibility of the person to do something - not the companies, because it's the actions of an individual that make the difference.

Sarah and I have had the privelage of growing up in a family that dedicated time and effort to bettering the lives of others. Grandma and Grandpa donated lots of money, Grandpa worked for Hospice, they both affected the lives of AIDS patients in early '80's SF. Tom and Eric both help out (a lot) with the city the live in - Eric coaches little kids basketball, Rachel has dedicated her entire career to social work, Sarah and I work for crap-pay at a shelter, Carmen helps with the town functions in TL (it doesn't cost the underprivelaged kids anything to do the easter egg hunt and get stuffed animals. My guess is that is the only easter gifts many of them will see.) Dave is always giving me things from his company to give to my shelter. Joe stays at home with the kids so I CAN be on call. That's a pretty darn good showing and if individuals helped out, even a little, then our lavish Holiday Parties wouldn't make anyone wonder how we could have better spent the money.

I think that it's the responsibility of the individual to step up and coach a little kids sports team, teach someone to read, become a big brother/big sister, or scoop food onto a tray in a church basement, then the world would be REMARKABLY different.

(I totally didn't mean to sound preachy - or to contradict Sarah - but I guess I did. It's just a touchy subject - with everyone)

So, yea. Merry Christmas!