Ridin' the Bandwagon to Haiti This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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It seems that in every corner of the Internet, a charity ad begs you to give to Haiti. From the more logical - news websites - to the less so - iTunes? - just about every major site wants to appear charitable and outgoing. Community service does makes oneself feel better by putting a conscience at ease, comforted by the knowledge that you've proved yourself unselfish by helping the community. And yet, it seems as if greed itself manifests itself in the act of helping, in a way becoming selfish while trying not to do the opposite.

The bandwagon effect can turn the most charitable act into a simple way to gain attention without appearing as such. One company promotes it, and it's good. A few more, even better. But then there's a huge leap in the number of organizations asking for your help, and it almost becomes annoying to see it for the eleventh time. Sure, it works, but it's definitely quite repetitive to have it plastered all over every part of the media.

The stats look great on camera, making for interesting short news bits. But showing off numbers conflicts with the inital goal of donating - to help a poorer country. It's not to prove how much more prosperous we are in comparison. Throwing around numbers and celebrating the monetary funds collected doesn't help anyone. Rather, it's a way to prove to others, whether it be a person or a country, that we are, indeed, helping, and not just simply sitting around watching lazily. The act of uniting together to help turns into the extraordinarily contradictory act of competing to work together the best.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with donating to such a worthy cause as the devastation in Haiti. However, we must not overuse the plea for help as a cheap and easy way to seem more honest and reputable.





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holly1221 said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm
Don't confuse a distaste of commercialism with pleas for help. To see "everyone" coming together to help a county - better yet real people - women and children alike - should be exactly what it is, nothing more. Be careful here. Your opinion risks becoming the bandwagon you are rallying against.
 
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