DOnate YOur Glasses
Like the Sword of Omens, give someone sight beyond your sight.
Some websites are so desperate for content they’ll take an idea that could have been a tweet – like donating our glasses – and bump it up to an article, padding it out with irrelevant introductions barely connected to the business of, for example, donating our glasses. They’ll follow that with a series of contradictory, flip-flopping paragraphs that start with “We’d never” and “Okay, never is too strong” and “Then again…”
Not for us, that wasteful tomfoolery. If I know anything for sure – and I don’t – it’s that the internet thrives on concision, on cool-headed people knowing when to say when. And so down to business:
As a wearer of glasses you’ve undoubtedly had a difficult life. Your eyes packed up early. You got called “Four Eyes” and “Window Face” all through school. You had your people represented by Mr Magoo, a shameful example of glasses-minstrelry that greatly exaggerated how often you’ve addressed post boxes as “Madam.” You’ve had your culture co-opted by hipsters, influencers and Halloweeners. You’ve seen glasses used to make beautiful women ugly in teen rom-coms. And you’ve been prejudicially misjudged, your intelligence vastly overestimated when you are, in fact, quite stupid.
No one can blame you for turning against society. No one can blame you for hating this world that’s always hated you, for descending into the sewers and getting a taste for opera. But it’s time to let go of the hate. To seize the moral high ground and give something back. It’s time to donate your glasses.
We fucking got there!
Vision Aid Overseas has been working for years to bring decent eyecare to people in developing countries, where something as basic and treatable as short-sightedness can lead to genuine inequality, genuine disability. They reckon 1.2 billion people struggle to see properly because they can’t afford glasses. That can knacker the lives of would-be school pupils, would-be teachers, would-be anythings, making the jaunty tone of the above paragraphs seem so inappropriate I’d delete them if I knew how to work the backspace key.
Here in the decadent parts of the world we can donate our old glasses for reuse in the parts of the world we’re forever shitting on. We can drop them off at our local opticians who’ll send them on to whichever charity they’ve partnered with. In the UK the Lions Club International – the Pepsi to the Rotary Club’s Coke – are collecting them, and are so posh they refer to them as “spectacles.” In the US you can give them directly to the Lions or to VSP’s Eyes Of Hope project. And while you’re at it you can donate some actual cash to Vision Aid because we’ve already solved the problem of lousy eyesight and it’s horrific that it can still ruin lives.
This is a pretty easy choice. We can chuck our old glasses in the bin or give sight to one of the billion people who could use them. If ever there was a no-brainer, this is it. This and Eric Trump. He’s got nothing up top at all.
And if you’re interested in donating things, or in copywriters bumping up word counts and SEO rankings with outro paragraphs stuffed with links, you should check out how to give money to charity, give books to people who haven’t got any, or give blood to people with less blood than you.
And with that this article’s finally going to end, with a couple of overused but on-trend phrases to low-key suggest youth and social media savviness – and we are here for it!
(591 billable words.)
Donate your glasses
Help someone to see
Change their life
Related Blog Posts
Among the million things we need to do to avert climate breakdown, kicking the arse out of plastic is one of the most urgent. Plastic comes from dirty-bad oil, gas and coal, using about 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and about 6% of coal-fired electricity in its production. We’re bringing on the sixth mass extinction for the sake of shrink-wrapped broccoli.
In my withered, Covid-infested state I find myself doing less and less for the big battles we need to win: Yer climate breakdown, yer rise of fascism, yer eating the rich. But recently I’ve discovered a critical area of climate activism that requires even less effort than doing very little: Doing nothing at all! By which I mean I’m buying less shit.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the IPCC – issued its latest report this week, pointing out how monumentally fucked we are because we like cars, burgers and mass extinctions. It makes for grim reading – but only if you actually read it. Here are nine ways you can avoid giving it any thought at all!
Desperate to avoid petrol I hired an electric car for the purposes of hard science. I requisitioned a Renault Zoe for a few days, rented a lab coat and three pens for its pocket, bought a clipboard outright and began the grand experiment. The key tests were how well the battery lasted with my commute and the business of social work, how quickly it drained when parked overnight, how big a pain in the arse public charge points are, and how often I’d have to use the buggers.
Back in the arse-end of 2019 I finally ditched my car, having decided humanity was marginally more important than an easy commute. But then Covid hit. And hit me right in the face. Almost two years later I’m still having trouble walking, still working fully from home and only just starting full time hours. I need a car. Which means I need an electric car, which means a lot of expense…
We’ve made it halfway through COP26. It’s been a week of photo ops and erasures, announcements and sucker-punches, protests and Borises being colossal shits. On the surface there have been some decent announcements…
And so we find ourselves on the eve of COP26, where highfalutin delegates from around 200 countries will come together in Glasgow to either unite the world to tackle climate change or to talk shit, greenwash their failures and prove virtue signalling is a real thing after all. In preparation I’ve been hard at work on my soul-crushing climate anxiety. This requires long nights lying awake fretting, long days doomscrolling social media. It requires your heart pounding against your ribs so hard it actually makes a noise.
My grand return to the world of disability hasn’t been great for carbon footprinting. The early, housebound stage was amazing, obviously. The plus side of not leaving my bed for months is that it reduced my emissions – and my activity, social life and hope – to zero. But as I got more with it, public transport was no longer an option…
As the climate crisis escalates and we begin laying track for Fury Roads, most of us are living our lives much as before. It’s a society-wide combover, with all of us pretending not to notice the very clear bald patches poking through. But even with our eyes closed and our fingers in our ears, climate breakdown will keep on trucking. Here’s how, Buzzfeed style: