Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Share for a Share? WTF?

Warning:  I am stepping on my soap box.  Rant ahead...

Someone, please tell me, for the love of all that is Holy, WTF is wrong with people?  I know, that's a pretty all-encompassing question.  Let me narrow it down for you.  Today's rant brought to you by "Share for a share?"

I'm all for sharing, but when did a "share for a share" become a thing?  Especially when it has to do with awareness campaigns or helping others?

Over the years, I've had a few messages on the Meghan's Hope Facebook page asking if I'd be willing to do a "share for a share" with a link to their Facebook page of choice.  I've had quite a few recently, and it's been eating at me.  Most are messages asking if I'll share their story or a link to a Facebook page in exchange for them sharing Meghan's Hope.  Most of these stories or links involve children who are critically ill and have prayer pages, children who are acutely or chronically ill and perhaps trying to raise awareness about their illness, or, perhaps, fundraising to pay medical bills. Many are heart-wrenching stories of beautiful children struggling with illnesses no one, especially a child, should ever have to endure. More than one has brought tears to my eyes.

The sharing part is not what I take issue with.  I am all for sharing and raising awareness. Obviously.

I take issue with the fact that now, for some people, sharing information that could save a life or help a family in need is somehow conditional.  That some people would actually only consider sharing my story if I share theirs.

Really?  Is it me, or is that just... wrong?

Don't get me wrong.  My heart aches for these children and their families.  I often do share their stories... on my personal page.  I always send a message back that is full of support and thanks for sharing the story with me.  I will even sometimes send along additional information or resources that might help them that I am aware of, without being asked for such information.  I tell them if I will share it on my personal page or in another way.

What I don't usually do is share it on the Meghan's Hope Facebook page (and explain why to them). Not because I'm mean, callous, or selfish.  Not because I don't care about that child or their family.  I choose not to share it unless the story has to do with an issue of child safety. Why?  Because Meghan's Hope is about child safety.  I have an obligation to remain true to the mission of Meghan's Hope and that is to raise awareness about dangers to children and teach others about keeping kids safe.

Some people don't understand my reasoning.  I don't understand theirs.

It saddens me to think that someone would consider NOT sharing Meghan's Hope, information that could save a child's life, unless I agreed to share their story on the Meghan's Hope page.  WTF? Bribery? An eye for an eye?  Emotional blackmail? Ego?  What drives that? Who taught them that? What makes them think that is reasonable?

What is it that makes people think helping children and families for ANY reason has to be conditional?  Shouldn't we share something because we feel it's appropriate and because we want to? Since when do we need to broker a deal to save a life or help a family in need?  If I see a story I feel is worth sharing on my personal page, I share it.  If I have information that may help someone, I share it. I don't ask for anything in return, nor do I expect it.  I consider that common human decency. I consider it compassion.  I consider it the right thing to do.

**Stepping off soap box**

I wish I could say I feel better.  Really, I just feel kind of sad.

Sad that we might be raising kids who among other things, won't have the common sense and decency to do the right thing and instead, will expect something in return for every good or appropriate thing they do.  That, scares the hell out of me.