Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Guilt, guilt, guilt

We are changing banks. I won't go into all the details, but basically, my current bank is a jerk. If you want me to rant to you, please feel free to email me. My family is sick of hearing about it. I can also do a really good imitation of how stupid my bank sounds, if you want to call me.

Anyway. I am changing banks. And we get to choose our debit card design. So, what does this have to do with books? Bear with me. I'll get there.

So, as I was deciding between the tropical paradise scene and the bright sunflower, the gentleman helping me mentions that the ones on the back of the info card contribute to charity. Huh. Well, I am sure I will pay for it, so I tune him out.

I chose the sunflower.

But then I heard, "...and so it's totally free to you. This bank pays it to the charity of your choice."

Yep, that is a pretty sunflower. But then guilt set in. Totally free to me? Who wouldn't do that?

I looked over the charities. I'd need to read over them. Make a good choice. But I was hungry and it was almost time to pick up my kids. Plus, he was waiting for me. Yeah. I'll stick to the sunflower.

"I'm not a bad person! I give to charity. But...I'd need to check all these out. I am not a bad person. Really." He just smiled. I almost teared up.

Then, "Uh. Can I change my design?" Of course I could. "I feel so guilty. I should choose one."

I flipped the card info over. Uh...Now which one? They were all so noble: Curing cancer for children, March of Dimes, juvenile diabetes. Ugh. What a choice.

Hey! Reading is Fundamental. That's it. Yes. That one. If I couldn't choose between those three, I'll choose one I can relate to. (To which I can relate? That to which I can relate? I need to go get my handbook of Well English.)

"Ok, the reading one. But I still feel so guilty." I mean, if my little one had one of these diseases, I'd prefer a cure to books. But then, maybe if some underprivileged family got some books, maybe their child would grow up to be some brilliant scientist that discovered a cure. Because of books. Right?

My banker smiled. (I am beginning to think he thinks I am an idiot!) "That's the one I chose," he tells me.
Ah. Much better. I felt much better. Unless...
Well, when my dear hubby opens his business account, I will make him choose one of the other ones. Maybe I will just open accounts to assuage my guilt....

I had never heard of this organization before. It sounds fantastic. Taken from their website:  

RIF is putting books in the hands of readers, nurturing youngsters hungry for knowledge and passionate about learning. RIF is everywhere you are—thanks to countless volunteers in schools, libraries, childcare centers, Head Start programs, parks, community centers, health clinics, migrant camps, and domestic shelters.

In fact, RIF’s passion for literacy creates a unique method of distribution: Dozens of books are displayed, allowing children to explore their interests and make their own choices. The books are free but the moments are priceless, as excited readers show off their selections, pose for pictures, and ask in wide-eyed amazement: “I really don’t have to bring this book back to the library?”

RIF makes a difference:

  • A nation of readers become productive people who help create strong communities.
  • Reading ignites the imagination and inspires learningbasic tools for success in school.
  • Reading improves child development, leading to better grades and higher graduation rates.
Wherever, whenever, however you look at it—Reading Is Fundamental and always makes a difference. 

Wow. Impressive.


  1. This is so funny. I know exactly how you feel. I hate when I say no to donating because I can't afford to or because I'm running late and don't have time. I'm glad that you chose RIF. Curing cancer is great, but illiteracy is just as much of an issue around the world.

    I have two friends from Tanzania who told me that education and reading are two of the most important things in their country because so many people are illiterate and unable to help themselves. The government made education a priority in order to educate people in the medical (and other) fields to help bring Tanzania out of poverty and disease.

    I would have gone with books, too. :)

  2. Hahaha! Thank you! That makes me feel better too! We are crazy, aren't we?
    That's interesting about Tanzania. I guess you have to start somewhere and education is a great way to help!

  3. I used to feel guilty too. I've noticed lately I can say "no" with conviction. I was at the check-out of a store and the cashier asked if I'd like to donate a dollar to bla bla bla. "No" just popped out of my mouth. Ha
    Sounds like RIF was a good choice.

  4. Well done, Leslie! No more guilt!

    Our school has quite a few refugees and recently one spoke to a class about his experiences. When asked what was the best thing about being in Australia he answered that it was being able to go to school. Quite an eye-opener to kids who take school for granted...

  5. @Manzanita, I need to work on that!
    @Delynne, it sounds like we (meaning those of us with these privileges) need to be a bit more appreciative. We have so many choices in our educational system!

  6. Hi from your newest fan I love books I encourage all to read especially for my grandchildren. I have a large book library saved all my children's books so its fun to show my grandchildren what their Mommy's read. Thanks for your love of books.

  7. I hate that sort of guilt even though I know it is silly because it would be impossible to give to every charity. I like charities I can relate to also. So yay for literacy!!

  8. Rachel: Welcome! Thanks for following! Good on you for saving all your kiddo's books. I have all mine too and now read them to my little boy.

  9. @Rachel, that is so cool that you have those books! My mom saved a few of ours and it is neat to see them!

    In some old boxes, I found one recently (and you'll all be mad at me) from my elementary school library! I remember I LOVED this book - Anatole and the Thirty Thieves!

  10. I could really lay on the guilt here because I work in pediatric cancer research and we're always desperate for funding....

    ...but even I'm glad you chose the bookish charity! :) I think when it comes to supporting charities there really is no wrong decision - perhaps that's why it's such a tough choice!

  11. Thank you for not telling me anything! I don't know that I could handle it and my banker may ask me to return to my jerky bank!

    Actually, when we move our other accounts over, I will choose another cause for our debit card...and then I will feel 2/6 (or 1/3) less bad! ;)


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