This is a follow up to yesterday’s post and once again is about my personal emotional reaction rather than actual issues, but tomorrows will post will actually have content.
I often see people at shopping centers that come up to people and ask them to donate to a specific charity that they work for. I have run through what I would say to one of if they approached me. I would tell them the difference between passive and active selection of charities and how there charities are probably less effective than the charities recommended by GiveWell etc.
But at the same time I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this. Partly because of the reason I talked about in yesterday’s post, but also because I once did what they are doing and it was one of the worst emotional experiences of my life. For an assignment in year 12 me and some friends went to a bus interchange and asked people to fill out surveys and donate to a mental health charity. I have never felt that much constant rejection. Every person I would walk up to would either ignore me or lie that they were busy or just flat out refuse to donate. I directly saw people not caring about doing good. even when someone presented them with the opportunity It was horrible. I ended up giving up and just sitting down for the last hour while my friends kept trying.
I honestly don’t think I would be able to do that full time, even for an EA charity. I guess I would get better at it and develop tactics to deal with it I had too. But at the time it was just unbearable. So I have a lot of respect for people who do that every day. Which makes the fact that they are doing it for non EA charities even worse.
Also obviously the fact that people not wanting to talk to me for a few hours is one of the worst experiences have had shows exactly how fortunate I am and how high my standard of living and general emotional levels are in comparison to the majority of other people, which is a reminder of why I need to help people. And given how much more I could be doing I don’t feel any sense of superiority to the people that didn’t donate.