John Marsden Writing Topic #393
‘You can judge people’s characters by the way they treat someone who can do nothing for them.’ Evaluate your own character in the light of that remark**
I’ve heard of this remark a few times in my life but for the purposes of this writing topic, I have to define the meaning of ‘someone who can do nothing for them’.
My family, specifically my parents, are constantly doing things for me such as ensuring my existence, looking after me and occasionally helping me out financially when I need it. My brother and extended family members have always done something/s for me at one time or another, therefore they don’t fit under the category of ‘someone who can do nothing for me’.
My friends also wouldn’t fit under this category as we all do things for each other under the unwritten contract of ‘friendship’. There is always a give and take or exchange, not just a give.
My boss and co-workers also wouldn’t fit under this category as we all do things for one another with the expectation of something in return. This ‘philosophy’ could really apply to everyone we know or interaction with.
With all of the above in mind, to evaluate my character in light of the remark, I would evaluate my character in regards to how I treat charities and the people who work for them.
I feel that I am of reasonable character when it comes to giving to charities themselves–I give blood, I give spare change (when I have it) to charity workers who have collection buckets on them and I give my spare clothes and things to various charities via collection bins. I could give more but I do try my best.
I also feel that I am of reasonable character when it comes to my treatment of charity workers, however I will admit, I could possibly treat them a little better. I never intend to be rude, but I just can’t stand being harassed by charity workers when I’m trying to do my shopping in the very little spare time I have, or when I’m trying to catch the train, or when I’m at work. If they weren’t so aggressive and inconvenient and if they varied their approach from the usual harassment and aggression, I would treat them a little better.
**Reference: Marsden J 1998, Everything I Know About Writing, Pan Macmillan, Australia.