Throw Me Away, I’m Used To It

As soon as I saw this image, for a moment, I didn’t really know how to react. The paper read – Throw me away, I’m used to it. My first thought was it is certainly a clever, touching letter. No one would really throw it away. What a great way to ensure that people treat your letter with respect or pity or whatever emotion it is supposed to evoke.

My next question was

– Which is the organization who are doing it? They have gone out of the box to bring in a new line of creativity.

My final question was

– How dare they?

And I think I am finally stuck with that!

I am a marketing bug and I do believe in the strength of marketing and people. I also believe in how important emotions are in helping us make a decision. If you are like me, the first thought would probably be to go ahead and make sure that I not only save the letter but also seriously read into it.

I have seen a lot of designs on letters, interesting cartoons and what not. But somehow I felt this one really crosses the line. Isn’t it very similar to someone showing you a very hungry child, making you feel sorry for him/her and then taking money from them. Maybe their reasons are genuine and they really want to help people.

But ethics and business is not just about what you want to do in the end right? It is also how you get there. If the route considered is blackmail, I would certainly think twice before I even trust them with my money. We will never know the true intention of the smart pants who designed this, but I get the feeling that I am not going to like him at all.

Being in a business where I constantly deal with people, I realize that emotions are extremely important. Any decision we take is based on our emotions, what we feel and what it makes us think. This photograph too evokes a lot of emotions – Pity, Hurt, A moral obligation and so on. But somewhere it fails to instill the responsibility or ownership.

Throw me awayI would not like to involve myself in a social activity just cos someone asks me to or tries to inspire me this way. I would like to involve in one cos I really believe in it and can make a certain difference to it. But the moment a business or an NGO crosses that line and makes the sole purpose only about money or logistics, the whole purpose of the business is gone.

A business is an idea and it stands for what the company is and what ethics they stand for. The moment I feel that a company can stoop so low to get their financial targets satisfied, the complete trust in them is completely lost. The poor kids no wonder deserve better, but not when they are hogged as a priced catch just so that these organizations can benefit financially from them.

Photography sure is an art, almost all these photographers have a royalty associated with it, but don’t they have an obligation to what that photograph is used for? Don’t they get a letter which states how these photographs are being used? Did they even consult the kids or their parents or guardians that they are going to use these photographs for this purpose?

It is just going a bit too far. And this behavior doesn’t really stand!

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  1. On the first look, almost everyone will open the letter, but then, it might feel like either a great business policy or a sort of emotional blackmail.

    Advertisements these days, most of the times try to make their way through our emotional levels….I remember the ‘Google Map’ ad…it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen…

    • True Maniparna, I think it was a way for the company to make sure that people open the letters. Amidst all those plain or colorful letters, this certainly stands out since it is real people and real emotions. But it is a horrible thing to misuse and manipulate emotions of people just to reach their own twisted gains. I mean there is a certain line in businesses and the moment they cross it, all is really gone no matter what the intention was..

  2. That’s very clever..I would have opened the letter and still threw it away knowing that people want to tap that emotional quotient with such strategies. I would instead go to an orphanage and feel children my self.
    I have had a really bad experience with WWI and as they say – once bitten twice shy.

    • In retrospect, I guess even I would have done that Parul. Or maybe if I knew who sent it, maybe, only maybe send them a letter saying how it makes people feel, just in case they are doing it innocently.. It is a much better thing to do to it on our own. That way atleast we get the satisfaction of contributing to the society. You never know how low these fellows would sink..
      Bad experience with WWI – world watch institute? I’m sorry to hear that. .What happened there?

      • World Vision India..I had sponsored a 5 year old girl there and I kept on religiously paying for good one year – but later I felt I was cheated, they never even let me meet the girl.. 🙁

        • Ohhh.. thats very unfair. I think even my mom tried sponsporing with ISKCON, but they too never shared much information about the student being sponsored. It becomes so difficult to trust in such a case..

  3. Ohh the line goes so close to the heart… Well yes Vinay, can’t trust anyone… Likewise whenever I get approached by a kid saying “paise dedo bhook lagi hai” I make sure I buy something for him/her to eat rather than giving money and I ask them to eat in front of me… because since I watched Slumdog Millionare, it’s in my mind that they will handover the money to the guys for their business. So… being emotionally steady is the fundaa.

    • Unfortunately yes Tara.. You really can’t trust anyone, esp when these businesses use a social cause just to reach their own twisted goals and milestones. It is such a shame that materialistic gain is overtaking the sensitivity of people and understanding how it makes someone else feel. This one was sheer blackmail and nothing else.. Even I am quite reluctant with beggars cos I really don’t know who the genuine ones are anymore.. It all seems fake and too organized for me..

  4. It’s everywhere. I come across so many posts on social media which are like this one. I don’t like it, but there are thousands who fall of it.

    • Same here Saru.. I was quite shocked to see this.. It was more of a transition, at first I thought it was clever and then I thought it was cheap.. really cheap..

  5. I agree with you and also with Saru’s comment… Yes many such posts have been online and with images that make you pity and feel sad… There is a line and such institutions sometimes cross it..

  6. Well, that was a perfect key to open an emotional mind. There are many such gimmicks that are played to gain sympathy. Now, charity should also be done in a prudent way.

    Good post Viinay.