I had the rare privilege of attending a big charity event last night. A friend works for a company that donates, so she was given free tickets and asked my wife and me to go. We ended up donating, turning what was meant to be a free night of eating and drinking into a rather expensive outing, but we donated far, far less than some people who attended. They opened up the call for donations by asking people to contribute a small amount by stepping forward to the bottom of the stage, then over the course of the next 15 minutes they raised the donation amount, bringing people who donated much greater amounts to the top of the stage. They maxed out with $50k personal donations, and they got about 10 people up on stage at that amount. From my vantage point in the darkest corner of the room, I cheered these people on with gusto. Then, the announcers asked if anyone would donate $100k. The room fell silent as we all stared at these 10 people who'd agreed to donate $50k each, and instead of continuing cheering them on, we all waited in awkward silence for peer pressure to make them donate. None did, and somehow a bunch of selfless heroes who gave a ton of cash to a really great cause ended up looking kind of cheap. Though I'm sure they were thinking the same thing as they looked out at all the people who didn't donate anything.
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