“I guess when it comes to sponsorship there is a spectrum between doing something clearly unpleasant (eg a hunger strike) or useful (eg picking up rubbish in a third world heritage area) and going on a pleasant family holiday. Most people will be less motivated to sponsor the more that your activity looks like “fun” or something you would do anyway, and more motivated if what you’re doing is clearly a sacrifice for you. Where do you think your plan falls on the spectrum?” (question asked by RoseErose on Facebook)
In the past some people whipped themselves as they walked their spiritual pilgrimage to Santiago. That would be right up there with hunger strikes – but I’m not convinced it would elicit any more sponsorship. I’m not making fun of the question – it surely is a good one.
I wholeheartedly agree that you’d probably have a tricky time getting people to give even a cent if your “project” was to visit every theme park in the US. I get that.
So should I list the hardships we might come across…..bedbugs, walking in the rain, walking in the blazing sun, being sick of walking, missing brothers, missing sisters, missing Daddy, missing Grandpa, missing friends, missing reading, struggling with Spanish, handwashing every day, blisters…..
When a concerned acquaintance advised that allowing children to walk so far would damage their bones, I consulted our revered medical expert. His reply was short and to the point: You can do no damage to children’s bones by walking a long way, but they will be bored after two weeks. And they might be.
So are we up there nudging close to hunger strikes? I don’t think so.
Our potential problems are first world ones.
We are privileged. We are fortunate to be able to do something that goes beyond merely providing for our daily needs.
We are blessed in the midst of any sacrifice we might make, big or small.
If we encounter bedbugs (like we did last time), we’ll be thankful for the beds we slept in.
If we walk in the rain, we will be grateful for water (and raincoats).
If we walk in the sun, we will give thanks that it’s not raining.
If we get sick of walking we will continue anyway.
When we miss our family and friends we will pray for them, send them a message, treasure them.
When we want a book, we will open our journals and write our own story.
When we can’t find the right Spanish word, we’ll laugh.
When we do our handwashing each day, we’ll be thankful we didn’t have to carry the water the whole way we walked.
And as for blisters…..nah, we won’t get blisters. But we could pick up rubbish – it’s a real problem along the way.
How about it? Would our pilgrimage be more valid if we picked up rubbish and each carried a 20litre jerry can of water on our heads?
Coz I tell you what, no matter how much I might enjoy walking, I would never choose a holiday that involved lugging round a jug of water and sack of trash all day. That certainly would not be fun. It would not be something I would “do anyway”. Besides, it would be pretty tricky to use my walking poles.
But how about it? Would you be more inclined to donate money if we were carrying a water jar? Would fellow pilgrims be more likely to give, because we make a spectacle of ourselves? I’m willing to consider it.
What do you think?
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