I have been wanting to write about this since quite a long while ago, but could not find the mood to do so.
I think many people have done charity work or have at least one experience with flag-raising or similar activities. When you approach people to ask for donations, have you ever met with an “It’s okay” reply? Especially when this “It’s okay” is when that person did not want to donate?
The issue which prompted me to talk about this was me making this mistake which I very much condemn. Once, on the way out of Utown to the bus stop, a girl stopped me and ask if I would like to buy a coffee bean pack for a good cause. Well, sometimes my mood do determine my charity heart. I decided not to. I gave a little smile, but I replied with a simple “It’s okay”. The moment I realised what I had just said, I felt so embarrassed and apologetic to the girl, but she had walked away. If there was any use, I could have just slapped myself a hundred times. This went on in my mind, “What the fuck were you trying to mean by saying ‘It’s okay’? What’s okay? You mean you’re okay not donating? Or do you mean she should be okay for you not donating? Fuck you!”
Do you realise how impolite this little phrase is? Consider this scenario: I ask if you would like a cup of coffee and you said “It’s okay/fine/alright” as a mark of being not too direct. That’s cool, you just mean you are okay not drinking coffee. Consider this: I ask if you would like to donate, and if you donate, I thank you and you reply “It’s okay”. This would be perfectly fine! You are telling me “It is my pleasure to contribute, you don’t have to thank me.” If you don’t want to donate, reply with a “no”, and I say “It’s okay”, and this would be perfectly fine too, because it means I am fine with you not donating. However, if you don’t want to donate and reply with an “It’s okay”, it means “…FUCK it doesn’t even mean anything! Wait… let me try to interpret…
Okay, it could mean, “It’s alright, I am okay not donating (Because my money is precious, I am a selfish bastard so leave me alone).” Or it could mean, “I am telling you, you should be fine with me not donating because you are lousy. I am the boss.”
And both of these aren’t exactly polite. Who says I am okay with you not donating? I am not okay! I am not even asking if you would like a cup of coffee. If you freaking don’t wanna donate, just say NO. Next time if someone tells you “it’s okay” when you are asking for a favour, ask them back, “Hey hey. Sorry but what do you mean by it’s okay? What’s okay? Are you okay with yourself not doing it or should I be okay with you not doing it? Wait this doesn’t even make sense. I am definitely not okay with you not doing it and I should not be okay with you not doing it because I want you to do it and if you don’t want to do it, just say no. If you are a little polite perhaps you can add a “sorry”. Thank you for listening to my wonderful piece of advice!”
You’ll probably be branded neurotic, but hey, at least there is some righteousness toward the use of words.
Now don’t be surprised if I get a swollen eye from telling someone not to “It’s okay” me!