Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man


Movember’s over and it’s pretty much just withered away. No award*, no party**, no sense of fulfilment. Just an odd feeling standing at a bus stop realising that it was December and I still had a moustache.

It’s pretty much been a constant disappointment from the start because of a general lack of interest – both from a vanity point of view and from a monetary one – which has got me wondering what it’s all about. What have I actually done for the past month?

I know the line of raising awareness of prostate cancer and funds for charity but how well have I done that? Sure, a few people have asked me why I have a moustache or have associated the growth with Movember which has at times led to a small conversation about prostate cancer, but how many of those have really taken to heart the warnings? How can I really expect anyone to have done anything about it when I haven’t really done anything myself – anything worthwhile like mentioning it to the most at risk people in society or even checking myself for any signs of the disease. Apathy breeds apathy and that’s generally how I feel right now.

While I’ve raised a small total for The Prostate Cancer Charity, what have I actually done for it? I’ve grown a moustache. I’ve been unfashionable. I’ve done something that makes me look a bit silly. I’ve become one of those rubbish fundraisers who asks for money to do something I wanted to do anyway. What’s the point of sponsorship?

It should surely be to help raise money for something you care about. I have no link to prostate cancer. I have no real link to any charity – something I that I thought about a lot while I decided that I should be donating – so why should I expect friends or colleagues to give to something that I have no particular interest in? It should be about doing something that’s of benefit to other people or at least something that’s taxing in some way. Cycling 600km in 8 days is worthy of sponsorship. Organising a night of entertainment where you’re going to be the main performer is worthy of sponsorship. Running a marathon is worthy of sponsorship. Running a 10k I’ve always found to be dubious as it’s something that I think can be easily done. Walking a 10k is a joke. Doing a bungee jump or a sky dive and asking for sponsorship I’ve always found to be insulting. Where does growing a moustache fit in? In the last category or in a new one for making a bit of a spectacle of yourself?

Even if it is worthwhile, should people give money to a charity just because they know someone raising sponsorship? Is it better for someone to give on this basis or to sit out of these hat in hand displays and just donate on a monthly basis to a charity they feel more strongly about? I have no bugbears with people who didn’t give money – charity requests seem to come in all the time so maybe we’re all just being desensitised to all the suffering – but a few people who said they would contribute, and even asked for a reminder e-mail at the end of the month so they could donate, only not to help out have annoyed me. What’s the point in saying you’ll do something if you won’t? What’s the point in saying you’re going to help if you’re going to be elsewhere?

Maybe it would’ve been more successful if some of the people worried about the fur adorning their top lip joined in. Maybe less of a show of vanity would’ve proved more successful.

Of course, this lack of a feeling of achievement hasn’t stopped my company muscling in for a few good-PR photo opportunities, despite a complete lack of support or interest in the preceding month.

(*There was an award but that was a farce.)
(**There were meant to be drinks on 1 Dec, but two had shaved, one bailed on the night leaving just me and one other having Movember beer, receiving compliments from strangers in the bar and being given a Movember wristband.)

Filed under: annoyances, beard, life

One Response

  1. Jemma says:

    “(not) even checking myself for any signs of the disease”

    I find that hard to believe! Heyoh!

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