As you may have read, yesterday I decided to do my best to be overly generous towards the world. I tossed every item of clothing I’ve not worn in the past 6 months into two big bags and put them by the front door, ready to be donated to the charity shop when it opened on Monday. I found my change jar and counted out the, 1ps, 2ps, 5ps and 10ps. £5.80 total. I decided I would bring it to the church, after I did inadvertently steal 30p when I was 5, I felt with interest that was probably about how much I owed them.
I did the usual things, made Lee breakfast in bed, nipped out to buy him some chocolate and pain killers to nurse his hangover, but these things were nothing out of the ordinary. I was trying to think of a selfless good deed. As I racked my mind I began to realise that there really isn't such a thing. Giving clothes to charity, freed up my wardrobe, I had some of the chocolate I bought Lee, as well as making myself breakfast and bringing money to the church would make me feel good, or so I thought.
I left the flat and went to the church on my street. Closed. I walked to the City Church. Closed. I walked to the church in town. Closed. Sundays aren't what they used to be. I could hear church bells in the distance coming from the cathedral so I followed them and surely enough people were queuing outside to go in.
I waited patiently behind the masses of slow moving elderly people until I got inside. A smiling woman greeted everybody and handed them a booklet of some description. "What do you want!?" she said infuriated as I reached the front of the queue. "Oh, sorry. Am I doing something wrong?" I asked, out of natural instinct, like a child being told off. She said nothing. "I've just come to give a small donation." She shook her head and waved me away.
"It's over there." Her choice of words confused me. The box was next to her, she was touching it in fact. I looked at the box, the slot in the top looked like it was for notes only. "Excuse me, is this for notes or coins?" She didn't answer. I waited patiently as she greeted more church-goers. "Why are you just standing there?!" she practically screamed, getting really irate with me. "This looks like it's just for notes, is there anywhere I can leave this."
"Just put it down, put it down!" she turned her back on me again. I left the money on the side and went to leave. "Oi! What are you doing?"
"I just left it on the side." I said puzzled.
"WELL CAN'T YOU EMPTY IT!?" she bellowed, frightening the elderly people at the front of the queue. It made me feel so small. Never has anybody treated me with such disrespect in my entire life. I stood at the donation box, forcing 10ps into a slot that was far too small. I felt like a fool. I finished emptying the coins and went to leave. "Thanks very much." I said with a smile as I left. The woman dropped her arms down at her side and rolled her eyes in forfeit.
I left the church with a feeling of sadness and depression. Not the happy feeling I was hoping for. Never will I donate money to the church again. I guess I must remember that the money doesn't go into that woman's pocket and it will go on to help in some small way. That's a wonderful thing. Thinking of it makes me pleased.
Sadly, this proves there really is no such thing as a good deed. Or is there? Let me know your thoughts. I hope yesterday's readers were inspired to do something generous. If you did, leave a comment.
For every comment on this post I'll donate an extra 10p to http://www.stonewall.org.uk/.