I get “symbolic” gestures, and I believe they have a place in our lives, of course they do. Shoot, flying my flag is about as symbolic a gesture as can be and I do that every day.
Everything type of disease, kids going hungry, people dying senselessly, animals being abused, you name it. Whatever the cause, there are people saying do this to show your support for that…. Nothing wrong with a social media post to show your support for something, I do it all the time, and I click like on many a post to show my support…or change my profile picture or whatever… it doesn’t cost me a dime and it tells whomever posted it that I care, maybe not enough to send them a check, but enough to move my mouse and click something.
Hey that is as much as some people can do and that is great. Power to the clickers! And sharers! Social media is a great tool for helping causes no doubt about it.
But here’s where I’m drawing the line : Call me a skeptic, call me cynical call me whatever you like – except late for dinner! The latest “trend” I’m seeing on social media and TV is to go to a store (or conveniently from your home, order and have delivered the next day) buy a green light bulb and leave it turned on 24X7 to show you support for veterans!
WHAT?? That sounds like a retail sales and power company win to me, not a win for veterans in need! I could not find anywhere from the “sponsor” of this event where they would donate money made from each green lightbulb they sell to a veteran’s organization or anything like that. I’m not saying they don’t give money to charity or other veterans organizations just that I couldn’t find anything linked to this ad I saw on national tv and floating all over social media.
As a vet, I can say – please don’t waste your money on this for me. Most all the veterans I know or have known – from WWII to Present don’t need a green light on your porch to know that we’re supported if we need it. That Flag flying on your house is plenty of support for me, it’s even better when you lower it when it’s supposed to be lowered (pet peeve). We served our country and Old Glory is our symbol and she is all we need for your support.
Sure a thanks once a year is fine and very humbling, but we really don’t even need that. We did what we did, we served and we’re proud of that, our families are proud of us (if they aren’t, well, that’s their problem not ours) and that’s good enough for us. The vast majority of vets (in my opinion) are living our lives relatively OK, the ones we are worried about and that need our help, really deserve our help – they could really use the programs provided by worthy non-profits and other quality veteran organizations. What they don’t need and probably can’t see and could not care less about is the color of a lightbulb on your porch.
Here’s my suggestion – take that money you were going to spend on a green light bulb, add in the gas money you’re spending to go get it or have it delivered, add in again the amount it takes to run that lightbulb 24X7 for a year and donate that to a quality veteran outreach or other organization. They can use that money much better than the companies selling the lightbulbs or the power company running them… If you feel the need to buy something for your house, make it an American Flag and display it properly.
Nothing against symbolic gestures, but they shouldn’t cost you and they certainly shouldn’t take funds away from where they are needed.