Friday, June 4, 2021

Random thoughts: I no longer feel happy being kind...

 Hi all,

My sister alerted me to a facebook group page known as "blessing for those in need". 

She told me many people posted things that are still useable, and anyone can ask to collect these items for free. Some kind souls also offer to transport the goods at cost price. 

I was invited by my sister to join the group. Recently, as we are doing some spring cleaning, I decided to try posting some items, such as jucier, vaccum flask etc. When happened over the next 2 days triggered a lot of thoughts, and I hope to organize them by writing a post. 

When I first posted the items, I am quite surprised that within 1 hour of approval by Admin, someone did want to collect the items. I thought to myself "Great, things will not go to waste, and someone get help" The lady ask for my contact and arranged for Courier to pick my stuff. My thoughts that surfaced (I am cynical person) "Why is a person who is so efficient and resourceful in getting a courier (I didn't know Q express provide such CtoC service) asking for free item? Is she trying to resell the items? Isn't there a cost involved if courier service is purchased?" Nonetheless, I felt that even if she do resell the items, it is to her resourcefulness, and I still fulfilled my goal of reducing wastage. (Doesn't matter that when you first joined the group, one of the rules is no reselling of the items). 

When I was posting another batch of items to be collected, I look through what are the items that are available for collection. I am quite surprised to find TV, furniture given away. On the other end of the spectrum, there are very cheap items such as a stuff toy and clothes hangers to be given out too.

I was looking at one post, where a lady is trying to help a friend give away old furniture. Another person claimed to be interested, but unable to pay for transport. I then offer to sponsor the transport and ask the owner if she could arrange. The lady insisted that I settled the transportation on my own, and hence I went about coordinating between the two. It is through this coordinating that I learnt about gogoX and LalaMove, and how transport cost has dropped. 

I did not have a good experience, as I realized the person asking for furniture also start to ask for food, and mentioned several times her plight. I did some fact finding, and found out that she is real, and is helped by GiveAsia before. The sum raised is small. 

When I left a comment on the post, saying that I am willing to pick up the tab for the person on the transport, to get her the coffee table that she wanted, another commenter who is queuing for the same item earlier, bring forward the possible date of collection. I felt quite uncomfortable about "fighting over" item. 

I told the person wanting the furniture that I can cancel the request for the furniture and use the transportation costs to buy groceries for her, if that is "really what she needed" (her own words) She then told me she really wanted the furniture instead, and she could ask her cousin for food instead.

I am not sure about the whole experience. 

How much help is enough, and how to make sure the help goes to the deserving. 

For someone in need of long term help, constantly trying to get help. is it still dignified. I am not passing any judgement here. Just penning my many thoughts that are swirling around my head.

Deep inside me, the feelings of satisfaction and joy whenever I help someone in the past, is missing this time round. Of course, I am mindful my "help" is of little or no significance. 

Just feeling weird that I might have pass the age, where I feel happy, doing a others a small favor. Maybe it is because I realized I might not really make a difference. 


  1. Hi Sillyinvestor, thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. Your post reminds me of a movie - Pay It Forward - that one of my teachers asked the class to watch and write a reflection on. My takeaway from the movie is that a small help might go a long way and accumulate into a big impact. =)

  2. Hi chun Kit. Thanks for leaving a comment. I guess is good to try to do whatever little we can. Also I think I am indeed too cynical. The person who is collecting so many items is not for reselling. She is trying to send them back to Philippines for typhoon victims

  3. Feeling good on doing good deeds may also be subjected to Law Of Diminishing Return of Happiness?

    1. CW, you bet. I think LDMR applies to all good things lol

  4. This remind me once i was in SHEN CHEN, still a fishing village.

    China was still poor then.

    A quite young couple carrying a baby asking me for Milk Money.

    My local tour guide warned me they were bogus.

    i decided to give them some money for baby's sake.

    But i told the couple it didn't matter anymore even if they were bogus since i decided to give.

    i told the same to my local tour guide.

    Since i am going to do a little charity irregardless, if someone has to cheat for it, it is already quite pathetic to me.

    1. Hi temp,
      Indeed, that is what I felt before this incident. When I went Vietnam and Thailand and indonesia decades ago. this is what happened.
      Now, it is hardly the case. MOst cities you cannot see beggars.

      I used to feel disturbed by such scenes. We are told that they will followed us and swarm us. Best not to ever see such scenes again.

      In thailand during training, we are told that children will rush to us to help us pack our parachute when we landed. Our commander is kind, he ask us to keep some money in the pockets and pass it to them after they provide the service.

      We asked isnt it dangerous? for them to run around the drop zone. He told us not to cork eye la, but the kids have lots of experince avoiding us la, dun worry.

      I was the first sortie. When I landed, there are no one, except for a kid looking very grumpy moving towards me. I still pass the money to him. Thereafter, the crowds did come in. Those were the days

    2. hahahaha Anon

      Such a long time, FHAG bro


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  7. I bless a lot of things now too - telegram, carousell. Yes agree that it feels strange when a person who queue for free item comes up in a nice car to collect. I usually just put FCFS coz it is too much work co-ordinating or deciding who should get it. Then I realise that only those with private transport seem able to get my items first.. so the really poor who have to work shift / take public transport will never get theirs. oh well.