Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why I won't be entering The Big Give

I'd like to start by saying that this whole project is completely mindblowing. I know the women who've put The Big Give together, through their blogs and thwhatever other social networking we young folk do nowadays. They're all forward-thinking, compassionate, sweet, decent humans. So, of course, it's no big surprise that they've come up with this but... seriously, where do they find the time?! These four ladies are the reason the world is going to be okay in another fifty years: If nobody else saves us all, they will.

Anyway, I can't enter The Big Give. I'd like to, because I think it's positive and it's brilliant and, more than anything, it's needed. But here's a story about me and my life and why I can't participate...

I was a bad kid. I did a lot of terrible things. Drugs, thievery, lies... that was my modus operandi. Many of the times I lied, I was simply trying to make people think I'm interesting or "cool" or dangerous or... any number of things that i didn't think I already was. I bought a crack rock in 7th grade, just so I could tell people I tried smoking crack. No, I never tried it (gave it to a train station bum), but I told everyone I did. I made up all kinds of stories about older cousins in New York City and recording sessions with make-believe punk bands, and all of that. It's embarrassing to admit, even all these years later.

And I stole. For years. I mean, the compulsive lying was MOSTLY given up like... by age 18ish. The stealing, well I still like to shoplift sometimes, if we're being honest (Now, I only steal from big companies that make money by exploiting peoples' stupidity and obedience). But I used to REALLY steal. I did a bunch of burglaries... even into age 20. No, I'm not proud at all. One moment that has haunted my existence forever and ever was... well, I stole $400 from one of my best friends. When I was a homeless 19-year-old sociopath. Anyway, yes.

As one might guess, I'm basically a walking guilt factory nowadays. And that's why I won't sign up for The Big Give.

I will be participating, however. Silently, selfishly. I've been reading the blog every day, and I am feeling really inspired. But... I operate a little bit differently. I do my best to give now, as I've taken so much. But it's very important to me that I don't talk about it. When/If I give, it is between me and the person I'm giving to. And sometimes, whenever I can, I prefer to give without anyone knowing at all. For example, have you ever found $20 taped to the bottom of a table at your local cafe, or perhaps you woke up early to shovel your driveway but it was mysteriously done already? Yeah, that was me, maybe. I like to give, but I think talking about it is wrong for me. Because there's a very good chance I will start lying again, and I don't want to do that.

So. Day to day life for me is usually ALL about giving back, or paying dues, or repenting (no, not to Jesus, just... to the universe) for my wrongdoings. Even the no-big-deal things like holding doors open, giving up my bus seat, smiling when I talk even though I hate my teeth... I try to give of myself, the best I can. Yes, I am motivated by guilt... which makes me feel more guilty. I mean giving and giving, to avoid guilt, but then realising I should be giving and giving for no good reason at all? I don't know, I haven't got it all worked out.

But I do want to say THANK YOU to Risha and Mel and Kris and Ella. For coming up with The Big Give., I won't be entering, but if there's anything else I can do, let me know. And GOOD LUCK to all the contestants! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. This is a beautiful thing, and I'm truly happy that it exists.

This was written by Robert Boylan. He is 28, living in America. Pretty weird, but pretty awesome. He has a blog called The Stir-Fried Dinosaur. Also pretty weird but also pretty awesome.


Robert said...

This post is completely out of place here. You guys should delete it.

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