August 1, 2012

Compromise

I've been reading a depressing novel that touches on world issues (children kidnapped to work as prostitutes! fathers shot in the street in front of their wives and children! very cheery stuff!), and meanwhile my childhood friend Jen in MI made a very good point on Facebook about how time/money could be better focused, and those two things together gave me the idea for a compromise.

What if everyone who wanted to show support for a fast-food restaurant's spending priorities bought GIFT CARDS at that restaurant, and donated them to a shelter or food pantry or other such organization? They could then hang around and have a soda or something to show warm-body support for the fast-food employees, who have probably been having a rough couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, everyone who wanted to show NON-support for a fast-food restaurant's spending priorities could (1) write a letter to the restaurant (boycotts may or may not do any good, but they definitely don't do any good if no one knows you're doing it---and an absence of $7 doesn't show up in the annual report); (2) send the money NON-spent at the restaurant to a non-profit organization that DID reflect the person's point of view (see also: Spite Charity), perhaps with an accompanying letter about the reason for the donation.

(Both sides could, if they liked, crow about how their side's larger contribution to good causes meant significant things about the quality and legitimacy of their side's point of view.)

Everyone who didn't care either way could carry on as usual.


Let's not have a re-hash of the reasons a person might make one of those three decisions. What I'm interested in is whether these three options are enough choices to let everyone feel happy about their actions, while also funneling all this Enthusiastic Effort in a pleasing direction.

25 comments:

HereWeGoAJen said...

I like it! But I plan to carry on as usual today, so if I fell into one of the other categories, I might feel more strongly.

Amanda said...

I'm thinking about it. It sounds reasonable but I want to mull.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Sounds good to me!

Lisa H. said...

I love this idea...and we must have the same type of friends on facebook, because it's ALL I've been reading about this week! *sheesh*

el-e-e said...

Sounds like excellent options and there SURE IS a lot of Enthusiasm going on!

The crowing opportunity is definitely key.

Sam said...

I've already decided I should stay far away from Facebook today for my own mental health.

I adore the idea of donating the money spent to a good cause, either way actually.

MomQueenBee said...

Are you kidding? What would people scream about on Facebook if actions taken were this reasonable?

Beylit said...

I like these options all around. They are sane and rational, not that I would use those words to describe most people I hear talking about this particular subject.

Alice said...

i very much like these options, as it's what i've in fact done! well... aside from writing a letter to fast food establishments letting them know my feelings. i presume they do not care about my feelings.

BUT, my donation strategy (i believe already inspired by you?) is to donate when i get pissed off, which has been a lot recently. so today a charity will get my money, and a fast food chain will continue not knowing/caring that they don't have my money. i will continue not mentioning it on facebook because the increased blood pressure is not worth it.

Jennie said...

Love this. I've done the latter part of part two, but I hadn't written the letter. I think I'll fix that tonight.

Slim said...

I am in favor of any course of action that channels people's energy on this issue into something I can ignore (does this make me guilty of Active Uninterest? I can see why someone cares, but not as much as some of them seem to).
I want to post a clip from Monday's Daily Show on any Facebook post about this. But I don't. I don't!

shin ae said...

I feel strangely happy that I was unaware of this hullabaloo until today. Regardless of which side I would take, I very much dislike hullabaloo.

Anyway, I love your solution.

Laura Diniwilk said...

Speaking of time well spent, I love that I am so far removed from facebook these days that I am not aware of what you are talking about (although I can guess).

Melissa said...

This does seem MUCH more constructive. But I don't think it would reduce any of the carrying on, because a lot of people just like to be wound up. (including me lately - I think I need to put myself in a Facebook time out).

Doing My Best said...

The world would be a better place if there were more clear-thinking, intelligent people like you in it!

phancymama said...

I keep talking myself down from posting that choosing not to shop somewhere and disagreeing with a company's anything, is not abolishing freedom of speech. And supporting a companies' policies and opinions is not supporting free speech, it is supporting the companies policies and opinions.

And only the government is prohibited from squashing your free speech, I can tell anyone to hush up as much as I want.

But I don't think this post would be constructive, do I think I will look into that donating idea. I like it.

Maureen said...

I have no idea what any of this is about, and maybe that is a good thing?

I'll just keep focusing my ire on the NBC coverage of the Olympics...

Gigi said...

I think I have an inkling of what you may be talking about; although I don't hang out on FaceBook and have pretty much been focused on work stuff.

But with that being said, your options are clear, sane and rational. Obviously, that is too much to ask of the majority of people. Because if they were to be clear, sane and rational then what would they have to yell about?

Jen in MI said...

Aw, thanks for mentioning me! This is such a well though out, rational approach you have come up with-which means it won't work for some people, of course! ;)

Misty said...

What if you really really REALLY want to say how people are stupid and you're never going there ever again (which wouldn't really help, because I never went in the first place.)

I know what you are saying. But Jeez. And stuff. Ok, I know what you're saying, but I don't know what I am saying.

Natalie said...

Brilliant!

Jen in MI said...

Aw, thanks for mentioning me! Your post is so rational and thought out and has actual meaningful actions-definitely not for the histrionic types! ;)

Kira said...

Love. Swistle for president.

Anna See said...

i love your ideas!

Just Vegas said...

Yes! This is sort of what I said to a friend who wanted to make a statement but who already did not eat the fast food. Write a letter!

There was also a pretty big campaign that involved donating the cost of a fast food meal to one of a list of organizations that support the opposite of the fast food restaurant's controversial organization.