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I Don’t Think I’m A Very Good Community Member

Updated on June 24, 2010


I’ve never been to a gay Pride parade. I’ve never campaigned for a candidate. I’ve never really done much of anything that could be considered community service for any of the communities to which I belong (list upon request). And although it may be awful to say, I’m okay with it. I don’t think I’m a very good community member – Don’t Get Me Started!

I have to be on every mailing list for every community to which I seem to be affiliated. I get things from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the National Holocaust Museum and a million other groups and communities to which I have either made a cash donation or they think I might make one to them. I have used all of their return address labels only feeling slightly guilty that they weren’t getting a check from me at the present time (sometimes they have gotten money from me which is exactly why I keep hearing from them). And while I like being a member of all of these communities, I’m not all that anxious to march or lick envelopes for them and I have to wonder if that makes me a bad member of the community or just one of the lazy ones?

Sure I sign online petitions and I put the various websites and current causes on my website but if someone were to ask me if I could do more I would know in my heart that I could but would know at the same time that I wasn’t really going to do anything more than what I’m currently doing. Some may call it apathy but I think it’s just because I’m not that much of a “joiner.” After all, in the six years I’ve owned my Mini Cooper, the local Cooper club has repeatedly tried to hunt me down and get me to join. They have left little business cards on my window, they’ve actually stopped me coming out of a store and I’m convinced that someday they’re going to show up at my front door with a squeegee threatening me that if I don’t join they’re taking the car away from me. The car club people just seem sort of sad to me. I know, I’m passing judgment but I just can’t help myself. I’m not one of those people who are constantly “tricking out” (does anyone still use that term?) my car so I can’t see joining a club whose members I’m only tied to by the fact that we drive the same make and model of car. I don’t want to ride in some huge (or in this case, Mini) convoy of Minis to the Grand Canyon or something. Ugh, the thought makes me nauseous.

Recently I was getting up to seven calls a night from some unknown number. I eventually picked up the phone to discover that it was one of the organizations that supports one of the communities that I’m supposedly a member of because I sleep with the same sex. They had been hounding me for days until finally one night at 9:30pm I answered to find that the person on the other end of the phone was very anxious to talk to me about why I needed to show my “support” immediately. About sentence three I was able to get in a word edgewise as he was finishing one of his words that ended with an “S” and was losing his breath or had gas escaping from the sound of it. “Look” I began, “I’m more than willing to help your organization when I can and if you pull up your records you’ll see that but at this present time I can’t make a donation nor can I stand the seven to nine calls a night I get from your organization. So please let me not waste your time or mine, you can mail me whatever you want but put me on a list to not be called anymore, okay?” There was a brief silence and then, “Sssso, can I ssssay that you’re going to make a donation in the amount of $50 and I’ll send the paperwork via the mail to you?” More than a little incensed I continued, “You can send me whatever you want by mail but as I told you, there is no way I’m committing to giving you any money at this current time so do not under any circumstances put me down as having made a commitment to you for anything at this time. Should you do this your organization will never receive another dime from me and I will return all of your mailers so that the postage money will be wasted too. Have I made myself clear enough for you?” “I’ll put you on the do not call list but please take a moment to take a look at the information we’ll be sending you via mail and give a donation.” Click went the phone and it has not rung from them every since.

Someone once said, “I love the human race, it’s the people I can’t stand.” What I find more and more is that it’s not only the people who want me to be a second class citizen or suddenly become a “boob” man it’s my own damn communities too. I don’t want to send you $50 because you send me greeting cards with art on them from children from the concentration camps. Who would send a depressing card like that to begin with, perhaps you should send images of people being liberated or something a little more joyous? I don’t want to march in a parade, drive my Mini in a line of cars or pledge money when gays bully me on the phone at 9:30pm. If that makes me anti-social well, okay I’m anti-social and you know what? I think I can live with the fact that I don’t think I’m a very good community member – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks for the support ladies. EA - You ALWAYS know what to say. I think that the people you work with on a daily basis must be very lucky to have someone with your earthly goodness walking among them. Thanks again.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      You kinda made my day with this one--you know what, I use the little address labels but I feel REALLY GUILTY! It's a thing...The world wildlife fund is really after me, and so is the Sierra Club, just because I donated a COUPLE YEARS AGO! Get over it, I feel like telling them. Forget my number! We're in an economic crisis here and I need to pay off the credits, okay???

      You really gave me a tickle (as per usual) and also made me feel better about something that bothers me from time to time. I'm not much of a "joiner", either.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Hey Scott!!

      Good Morning to you and good java!!

      You are a GREAT community member here at HubPages!! One of my favorites!! As you know by my hundreds of comments on your hundreds of Hubs!!

      Adding humor to a world in crisis is a Community Service in itself!!

      I am a strong believer in giving back!! Each of us has a comfort zone for contributions that should be respected by others!! Sometimes my comfort zone includes my immediate community; often it does not!!

      I find it hard to rationalize how much of my time and energy it takes as a volunteer for my Home Owner's Association when Mother Earth is bleeding to death in the Gulf!!

      I honor the volunteers in my neighborhood and appreciate their months of effort to keep someone from painting their garage door chartruese!! I just choose to spend my time where my soul is called!!

      I also protect my soul from being ripped apart, making me ineffective!! I can raise money all day for helping clean the oil off the remaining pelicans and sea turtles who get to help in time!! I would become an inconsolable sobbing maniac myself to hold one as it died!!

      We all wrestle with 'how much and why' with our social responsibilities!! If we haven't spent time thinking it through, there is no time like the present!! If we have, and are comfortable that our convictions and our actions match, no more (or less) needs to be done!! If we feel we have been a bit less than forthcoming, there are a thousand ways to remedy that!!

      GREAT Hub good friend!! Geeeeeze, such a heavy answer for such a lighthearted Hub!! Sorry!!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!!