Thursday, November 05, 2015

A confession

Remember the post where I wrote about how I was cruelly disillusioned by Gerald Durrell and his Jersey Zoo? This episode sort of followed on from that disappointment, because I was still determined to do something nice for animals and demonstrate my support for conservation - even if Gerald would never find out about it. However, being penniless and gormless, I didn't quite know what I could do or how to do it. 

Then I saw an ad in a magazine for the "Beauty Without Cruelty" organisation (they make ethical cosmetics that don't make use of animals for research or incorporate extracts of dead animals in their products) and was immediately impressed. They offered, for the princely donation of 20 rupees, a subscription to their magazine and various other enticements that I can't recall now, with the added attraction of helping to save endangered cheetahs or leopards - or perhaps it was tigers. Some sort of big cats, anyway. 

I don't know if you can guess what I did next. Because I had no money (the idea of pocket money was light years from being a twinkle in my dad's eye), I "liberated" the subscription amount from my mother's purse (or dad's wallet? I'm not quite sure) and sent it off to Beauty Without Cruelty. Not for a moment did it occur to me that this was stealing - I considered it a justifiable act because the money was going towards a good cause. After all, I wasn't spending it on library books. 

Anyway, eventually a large package arrived for me, causing a lot of surprise all around, because I was normally not the recipient for anything the postman delivered. I opened up the package in great excitement (alas, another disappointment, because the magazine wasn't what I was expecting, and the accompanying bumf was just more appeals for donations, forms to fill and so on. There really wasn't that much to show for the 20 rupees that the organisation had received).

Also, I was busted. 

Once my parents saw the contents of the package and the letter thanking me for my donation, they of course realised what had taken place. I thought I was going to get a bollocking for taking the money, but somewhat to my surprise, my dad wasn't mad. He asked where I'd got the donation amount from, and I had to confess that I'd simply taken it, pointing out pathetically that I'd only wanted to do a good deed and I didn't think that was wrong. He was silent for a moment, then he said quite firmly that I was wrong, what I did was wrong even if it was for a good cause. Especially because it was for a good cause. The end, he said, never justified the means if the means were shady. 

I made a promise that the next time I was overcome by the urge to generously donate someone else's money to charity, I would first ask their permission. It was an unnecessary promise. That urge never returned.  


30in2005 said...

I assume you mean the urge to use someone else's money for charity never returned. With your own money however...?

Anu said...

What a nice post!

Shammi said...

Yes, contributing to charity with someone else's money never happened again :)

Shammi said...

PS. My own money goes to several!

30in2005 said...

I have no doubt!