Where does charity and generosity stop?
Firstly I would like to start by saying I am not an internet troll and I am not setting out to knock or belittle anyone. However I have felt so strongly about the ‘Gofundme’ story which has evolved over the months to furnish 1 individual with a £3000 to £4000 trike plus £100 or maybe even £1000 of kit I feel I have to share my view and maybe add so constructive criticism.
I have read road.cc for some time now and never contributed but it is a great source of information for a sport and recreational activity I am so passionate about. I am also a twitter account user, therefore on numerous occasions I have seen plea’s to help get Keith back to cycling due to the early onset of Parkinson plus read the story he wrote about how difficult life has been since an early age.
When this story first hit my twitter feed I contacted Keith directly and expressed my sympathy for his recent diagnoses as I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, however I did question his ethics as to whether he should think about his current lifestyle and selling some of his toys and gadgets before asking strangers for their hard earned cash to get him another VERY expensive bike/gadget.
Keith has made his life very public by asking for this and with the information he posts it doesn’t take long to realise that cycling isn’t is only passion as he is also a guitarist, he is constantly on the internet and has a computer and a Android tablet, video camera, gorilla pod tripod type thing and he also has a smart phone and Sky tv, possibly a GPS device?, £60 - £70 of Olympics 50p!!, this is a lot for someone on benefits and who states cycling is his only passion!
Maybe my up bringing has been different, but I have always been taught to live within your means and only have what you can afford. I know so many people who work 40 + hours a week and struggle to survive without any of the luxuries Keith has acquired.
Keith is very obviously a kind and caring individual after reading his tweets and forum posts as he is very helpful to so many others, however maybe it is time to spend some of this energy on himself and look at his own life.
My own personal views are that he sees material goods as a means of making him happy and getting him back to as normal life as possible, however this will only be a shortterm fix.
I think it is fantastic that he is now looking for work and I think it will turn his life around, but maybe this should have been his first approach. If he is able to work, find work, start working, earn money and then purchase a trike, this is what he should have done. This is how 99.99% of the society works and it should be the same for him.
Why does he need the trike over winter when Scotland is likely to be under feet of snow soon? The next 5 months would have been even more time to save
Are there others near Keith who have Parkinson? As this trike has been funded by the generosity of others. Could the use of the trike also help others rather than just 1 individual? Is there a Parkinsons society near where Keith lifes where those with the conditions could hire the trike when it is not in use?
This would help more people and also give all those that use it greater freedom and also enjoy the activity we are all so passionate about. If all those that use the trike become enthusiasts it will give them the motivation to save and purchase their own trike!
If I am being brutally honest, I have read Keiths Gofundme page and he sees himself as a victim as he has tried things but keep quitting because things got difficult and he has continually been supported by society or others without taking responsibility for his own actions whether that is free accommodation, free sky tv and now free trike and the relentless gifts he has received over the last few months.
What happens if the £3000 trike brakes or is damaged or if ‘god forbid’ it is stolen, will there be another plea to the cycling community to help? Is it insured ?
Also, I have noticed that recently he has posted comments about ‘where can I buy x, y and z’ and on numerous occasions he has been sent these items free. Please think long and hard about this approach as peoples goodwill and generosity will reach a limit (please take this comment on board).
I have also noticed that he has been sent items that don’t appear on the auction list, i.e. Castelli clothing, an action video camera etc, if he is truly honest that his only passion is to get back cycling he will put these items up for auction/sale and donate the funds to charity. I am sure Parkinson or MIND charities will greatly appreciate the donation to help lots of people rather than just 1.
Also, he really needs to look at his lifestyle, If he REALLY wants to become employable he needs to get into a routine, not staying up until 5am in the morning on twitter and the computer and sleeping all day. Take all your tech out of your room, get to bed at a reasonable time and up at 8am, this will get you into a routine which will support a working life.
Keith, as I have said earlier, I think you are such a giving person and helpful and kind to others, but please don’t see FREE materialistic things as the way to happiness, it will not solve anything in the long run.
As someone who has also suffered from ill-health in recent years and as a result anxiety and depression I understand some of what you are going through. Maybe this has been part of my motivation to spend some time writing this and why I feel so strongly about my comments. It appears I am the only one with these views and I hope I don’t get my account suspended for these comments. As I said at the start it is not meant to be harmful or a personal attach. All I want is fairness and maybe to get EVERYONE to look at themselves and others and what is right.
Please everyone continue this amazing generosity that we have seen over the last few months, but maybe to help communities and groups rather than 1 individual.