This is the time of year when we all receive an avalanche of requests for donations to worthy causes and organizations. I just got one – from a very respected men’s leadership program. The letter says surveys show the men who participate become better friends, parents, husbands, employees and bosses. I myself am a graduate of the program and totally believe in its merits. The two-year program costs each participant $345 — and they are seeking donations to allow men who “can’t afford the cost” to be included.
Now wait a minute. This is an elective program for men who are serious about growing in their home and work lives. They must be motivated to make the two-hour a week commitment for two years. Is it unreasonable to expect them to make the sacrifice of $3.32 a week as well? Shall we go pick them up and feed them breakfast as well? Frankly, I don’t think this fits the model of someone who will benefit from such a program. It requires a 6:00 AM start time, intense reading and community action. They need to be motivated and desire to grow and prosper – and it seems part of that dedication should include the small fee that is less than the price of a hamburger or cup of coffee.
I fear that sometimes in our desire to give, we destroy the very dynamic required for growth. The sacrifice is part of the evidence of desire and commitment. I’m confident those men who “can’t afford it” will be the ones most likely to miss sessions, not do the reading, and find excuses for treating their wives badly.
What are you choosing to give to this year?