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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


Paying it forward, one coffee cup at a time

A friend of mine was working at the Starbucks on Indiana Avenue last Friday afternoon when a patron entered the store, purchased a $100 gift card and told the staff to pay for everyone’s coffee with it.

This guy took paying it forward to a whole new level. Interestingly enough, my friend also informed me that the man took a video of himself doing his great deed of the year.

Though I think that performing simple acts of kindness are a fantastic way to give back to the community, it seemed like this one was done for the sheer recognition of the good deed rather than the satisfaction of ?helping others.

At first, I was delighted when I learned of this man’s extravagant act of generosity.

However, the fact that he filmed himself doing it was a complete turn-off.

It shatters the idea of doing something good for someone just to do it, not because you need to inform the entire world of your charitable act.

My other concern is this man’s choice of location.

If he were truly interested in having a positive effect on the community, why did he choose Starbucks to blow $100 instead of a charitable organization?

If anyone needs a complimentary cup of coffee, it’s the people working at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Girls Inc., the Boys and Girls Club or the Middle Way House.

Instead of buying coffee for the next 40 or so Starbucks customers, that money could have been spent filling the shelves at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard with food for people who struggle to feed their families on a daily basis.

It could have been spent providing a bed for a person experiencing homelessness at Martha’s House.

It costs $30 per night to house one person at the homeless shelter and $180 to provide a person shelter for an entire week.

I’m sure this man made a lot of people’s days.

I mean, who doesn’t love free coffee, especially a nice specialty drink from ?Starbucks?

And I do believe he did this with good intent. In no way do I condemn his act.

But I still believe it could have gone to a much ?worthier cause.

I would assume most people wouldn’t spend $4.35 on their daily grande Caramel Macchiato unless their financial boat is ?relatively stable.

And filming himself doing his good deed was not only unnecessary, but it was also just tasteless.

I’m not a big fan of self-promotion, especially when it’s publicized via social ?media.

I do not know if he shared this video with Facebook friends or Twitter followers, but there is little other reason to film something these days unless you plan on posting it to your timeline.

If you decide to buy a sandwich for someone experiencing homelessness, don’t go tweeting about how great of a person you are.

The self-gratification of doing something charitable loses its merit and authenticity when you share it with a thousand of your friends.

To those Starbucks customers who got a free coffee Friday, lucky you. Mr. Starbucks Man, just don’t film yourself next time.

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