Towards the end of July I plan to do a gruelling forty mile trek across the Pyrenees. I decided, in part, to do this walk as a challenge to raise money for the Cornwall Air Ambulance. This has brought some interesting responses. For example, my son agreed to sponsor me, but suggested that next year I could sponsor him to lie on a beach towel for two weeks off the Amalfi Coast. It was an astute remark. There is indeed something strange about doing something for yourself but asking people to give to charity at the same time. I am doing it because of my work as a psychological therapist. Psychological therapy aims to help people to get unstuck and live the kind of life that the person they want to be would be living. The person I want to be is as healthy as possible, lives in a community and wants to give to others. I practice this with varying degrees of success. It is always a practice. So, like most people who do charity challenges, I am doing something that will benefit me.
But here’s the thing. Charities like the Cornwall Air Ambulance do a superb job. But they can’t survive by waiting for people to feel the urge to donate some money. Rather, they rely on people actively raising funds to persuade others to part with their hard earned cash. And so, I am playing a kind of game. The game is that I am doing something challenging, (for myself, at my own expense); but as part of this game, I will ask people to give a little bit to the charity of my choice.
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