Doing Good or Seeking Praise

For the past week or so I have pondering this No Make-Up Selfie trend for Cancer Research on Facebook; and whilst it is absolutely fantastic that so much money has been raised by them, there is something about it that doesn’t sit well with me.

I myself was nominated for the selfie, but after a little thought, I decided to write this on my Facebook wall instead:

I was nominated for the no make-up selfie but I’m not going to bother with the photo. If you want to see me without make-up then just come and see me, I hardly wear the stuff anyway!

And personally I don’t see how a photo can help with cancer awareness. It’s not like a photo of me can tell you that there are 200 different types of cancer, and that more than 1 in 3 people will develop cancer in their lifetime.

Cancer knows no prejudice. It can affect anyone.

There is plenty of information on the internet about signs that could most likely lead to cancer, and about how you can really help in trying to reduce the number of deaths related to this disease; just go and read it.

I feel that the message of the trend was slightly lost in translation, with no-one seeming to know for certain if it was for awareness or for research; and most people seemed to just jump on the bandwagon. I wasn’t the only one who thought the whole thing was just a little ridiculous, there was a good chunk of people who made their feelings known about this trend, and most were a lot angrier about it than me.

It got to a point where girls were actually posting screen shots of the confirmation text they received after donating money, alongside their make-up less faces, to show that they had actually donated and weren’t just following the trend.

And that is what sits uncomfortably with me the most; the fact that people care so much about the opinion of others that they are promoting themselves in this way to show just how much of a good person they are.

Giving to charity should not be about self-promotion.

In the bible, it states that one should not help the poor and needy in the pursuit of being praised by others:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4

And whilst I am not strictly Christian, I do feel that it is important to live with a decent moral code and to be the best person that we can be. I feel that those who do promote themselves and seek praise for doing good just appear to be egocentric, and vain.

I see these selfies, expertly angled and with low lighting, and this tiny voice in my head mocks them with a sort of high pitched squeal; “Look how great I am, I’m being so brave showing my face without any make-up on, but I don’t care because it’s for charity”

Yes, most people would argue that the whole idea of giving to charity is selfishly motivated; that we do it to feel better about ourselves, but at least we are helping those less fortunate. We shouldn’t brag about it though. Boasting of charitable activities makes a person seem, not only egotistical but also vulgar.

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