The fundraising experience

For me, lessons seem hardly ever to come whence I imagined they would. The fundraiser, I had thought, was a hopeless cause, a pitiable striving towards meager profits and a frustration at having been rewarded so little for our efforts. A professor who stopped by our stall joked to us that it might be better if we each worked at MacDonald’s for a day and then pulled together our earnings; that way, we wouldn’t have had to put in so much effort in finding companies to support us or in setting up the booth. Most of us agreed.

I was quite convinced then, and indignantly so, that our fundraising effort stood for nothing except an accidental offering to the gods of futility. And if there were some lesson on business fundamentals to be learnt from it, we would’ve failed terribly as students.

Yet, when the fundraising finally ended today, those feelings of pessimism and hostility seemed to have been mysteriously dispelled. I had imagined a wave of relief overcoming me, and the imposition of a caveat: do not engage in paltry fundraisers ever again. But none of that was felt. In fact, I felt glad at having gone through it all; glad that I was given the opportunity to know my teammates better, to have shared those laughs in our circles behind the booth, to have contributed to a collective trust that binds the team. Furthermore, I had the chance, given that we were rooted like sentries in the middle of a narrow passageway, to speak to old friends whom passed by and whom I otherwise would not have had the chance to speak to.

I suppose in everything one does, there is always an experience to be enjoyed. One needs only to look beyond the intention.

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