Yesterday I was in New York, Manhattan to be exact. I was walking from Rockefeller Center to 26th and 3rd Avenue to meet a former student for lunch.
I saw a series of people with clipboards in my first block. People were just walking right by. The first one says, "Have a moment for the crack babies?"
Sure, I have time for the crack babies. Who doesn't? All of the other NY a-holes that just pass by, that's who! After a few minutes of filling out a form and hearing the spiel, I move along about 10 yards when I see a guy with a clipboard. "Got a minute for gay rights?"
Everyone else just walks right by. Losers. Sure, I have time for gay rights. I hear the story, signed the form, then walked another ten yards before the next person. "Have a few minutes to stop the child sex trade?"
Everyone else walked by, obviously big fans of the child sex trade. Me on the other hand, had to stop and hear the pitch and sign the form.
The same pattern repeated the length of the block, consuming fifteen minutes and all of my good progress. I was going to be late for my appointment. Turns out that all of NYC's apparently most apathetic were not that way at all, but rather, they were sick of being harassed by people with clipboards!
Maybe if all of them were to ditch the clipboard and actually go directly intervene in their causes, they might get a little more progress for something truly important.