Another oldie. Sorry. But I want you to donate to food banks, before thanksgiving. (non USAians, I just want you to be good people.) This verse, from a year and a half ago, examined motives. At the time, people were concerned that the reason that people donated to food banks was somehow more important than the fact that they do so. I disagree. If you can, please do donate. If you get some sort of reward, or tax break, or special dispensation from the pope, so much the better. If we can make it easy to be good, shouldn’t we? (the penultimate line comments on the notion, expressed by some but not all humanists, that human nature can be trusted to lead to good behavior. I disagree, which is one reason I am not a humanist.)
If we only take donations
With the purest motivations
And our shelves remain half-empty, it’s the hungry folks who lose.
If the sponsors can afford it,
There’s good reason to reward it!
And the altruists can turn their prizes down, if they so choose.
Do not make it any harder
Than it is, to stock a larder,
With a view of human nature based on freely-chosen good!
I don’t care if it looks greedy,
If it helps the poor and needy–
The alternative is hunger, till we give “because we should”.
If a prize or recognition
Brings donations to fruition–
“I’ll increase my odds of winning if I donate lots of tins!”–
You can say that it looks selfish;
I’m not humanist, I’m shellfish!
When we pay for good behavior, sometimes everybody wins!