So What’s the Catch?

So, as I said in my last post, I thought I should mow our lawn this afternoon, just so that it isn’t too jungle-esque for when we get back from our two weeks on holiday. Well, I finished my lunch and began unwinding the extension cord and got the mower and strimmer out of the shed and got ready to tackle the back garden. However, before I actually got around to starting, my Dad looked at me, and asked if I was really mowing the lawn, effectively asking ‘what’s the catch?’ There wasn’t any, I just thought that it was a nice enough day, and frankly, it did need done before we went away.

But this got me thinking, does there have to be a catch? Does there always have to be some kind of reciprocation or remuneration in circumstances like these? It seems that people are much to reluctant in taking something for nothing when offered it, and I can sort of see their point when you hear about scams and cowboy builders who will literally leave you up shit creek without a paddle. Hell, even I feel that way sometimes, I can’t stand people buying things for me or doing things for me, I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like charity when it is directed at me.

Image Credit; Daniel Wood, Pick the Brain

However, most people aren’t the cowboys or scamsters, out to do you out of your hard earned cash, most people offering things just enjoy the thought of helping others. Society, however doesn’t like that, it can’t grasp the idea of someone doing something for nothing; we can be offered something, even something small, completely free with no strings attached, and we will still feel mistrusting of it, and the people offering it for that matter.

I have another example of this, that I experienced first hand and on a huge scale during my first full-time job. I won’t lie, I won’t cover it with any pretense, I was a cold-caller, doing door-to-door marketing. But before you being hunting me down to throw your over used door bells at me, here me out. I was basically tasked with signing people up to have their lofts and cavity walls insulated, completely free of charge. Now this does sound too good to be true, insulation to replace your current stuff, that would keep the house warm in winter, lower fuel bills and increase the value of your house? And that was free?

Well, yes, there was a government scheme being run at the time, independent of the current ‘Green Deal’ I should add, that entitled every home in the country to be insulated up to the new EU standards. Now surely if it was a government scheme, people would be lining up to have their homes done? Yes, they probably would have and our job would have been so much simpler. However, the current UK government doesn’t have the best record on honesty, further to that, they really didn’t do well publicising the offer, which meant that most people hadn’t heard of it, and hence you had to convince people the offer was bona fide.

And even when you did convince people, they still weren’t sure, it was the government after all, there had to be a catch. And there never was one, and when people are told there is no catch, that this is actually something for nothing, you quite literally get a door in your face. It’s really not a good feeling when you get a door in the face like that, or when any offer of good faith is shot down like that, you feel like you have failed in earning someone’s trust, that they view you as a cheat and a liar.

It really says a lot about our modern society when those who approach others with good will and the intent of charity are viewed with suspicion and branded liars and cheats. When we ourselves are too terrified or uncomfortable to take charity from others because we cannot trust them. Our society has become one of distrust, where charitable acts are deemed out of the ordinary and viewed with mistrust, and that is, in my opinion, quite a failing on our part.

As usual, please feel free to continue the discussion in the comments, if you have any similar experiences, let us know. Thanks for reading.

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