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Florian K.
Professional Teacher
The JOKER:If you are good at something,NEVER do it for FREE.
Heath Ledger did a fantastic job in portraying the Joker and one of his memorable lines in the Dark Knight is ,”If you are good at something never do it for free.”
It is a highly debatable and controversial topic actually. Some will agree with it and some won’t.

    I would like to share the story of a male friend. My male friend is a good organizer, he is a hiker and an outdoor person and I remember reading one of his Facebook posts on how he toured 12 of his friends for free for the first time. It was a majestic mountain and it took him a week to explore the place, a place with countless waterfalls and mountains that will leave you wanting more. He was happy that he did it for free for the first time. However, he asked for payment the second time around and some of his friends complained because it should be free because they are friends. You see, some people will have this perception that even if people are friends, everything should be free.
Organizing events is his job and so I would understand why it should not be for free because when I tried organizing a hike, I knew how difficult it was in terms of responsibility and even logistics. He knows that he is good at what he does so doing it for free , even for friends is not something feasible.

I had friends who are organizers, business owners etc, even if they don't ask, I pay for their services or goods. It is because I know that even with friendship, not everything is FREE. I don't like my friends to feel that they are being taken advantage of.

     If you are good at something, will you do it for free?
I would agree with the Joker. In my job, a lot of people ask me How....I never answered that directly because I also did not get it for free (time and money investment) I remember the time when I volunteered at a hospital for two years. I did it for free but during that time I could not even eat three meals a day. I was happy and financially drained. I realized that there should be balance...Know when to give and know when to charge money.
May 12, 2020 1:59 PM
Comments · 14
Yes. I donate my time and energy tutoring children. I have done it for years.
May 12, 2020
I think all teachers on this site are asked to teach for free. I do donate my time and skills to some, but never to those who ask for it.
May 12, 2020
I think context matters. In the situation you described, organizing the second hike for free would probably mean his friends wouldn't appreciate the effort behind it. I also agree that people who tend to expect others to do things for them for free, just because they know them somewhat, tend to be entitled and become increasingly demanding, while not appreciating what they receive. I simply don't do business with friends. If I need some new clothes, I'm not going to ask my friend/clothing shop owner to send me clothes for free. That's just a recipe for disaster. It's also the height of tackiness, putting someone in an awkward situation because you want a freebie.

However, when it comes to people who aren't expecting anything and who don't feel entitled to your labor for free, I think a lot of goodwill can be generated when talented people share their skills and make their community better. We've all seen people singing and playing instruments in their gardens or on their balconies during lockdown. They didn't charge their neighbors to listen and everyone enjoyed some music during a depressing time. The musicians and singers probably did it because they enjoy their art and performance, and because they saw how something they loved could benefit everyone. Perhaps some did it for attention (the cynical view), but I don't think that's the majority of cases.

It can be good to do things you're good at for free if you're doing them mainly for your own enjoyment or to satisfy your curiosity and the fact they help someone is incidental, or it's a pleasant surprise for people who were expecting nothing. I agree that one should avoid the entitled types who think you owe them something though. They won't appreciate it even if you serve it to them on a platter.
May 13, 2020
@Sed, often people ask for things because they feel entitled. To be honest, some have said "I would take lessons but I can't afford it", so I give them some help. But those who say I SHOULD teach them for free - those I don't help but I do always steer them in a direction where they can maybe find a way to further their language skills.
May 13, 2020
Florian,

I have to start off by saying I loved Dark Knight. That quote by the Joker "If you are good at something never do it for free" To me, that quote has capitalistic undertone for great debate. I also see why your friend would be frustrated when he tried to charge his friends for a second hike he planned.

I don't know your friend so I am guessing he had a learning experience. It looks to me, he's great a planning hikes and he should do it for profession. After all, I have learned from personal experiences to avoid charging friends or family members for services I provide. I also have a few friends who are great at matching me persons up for dates. So she took her hobby and turn it into profession. Eventually, her friends wanted but she turn them down.

I will conclude my comment with Facebook reference. I'm a Facebook user and I will say Mark Zuckerberg had a billion dollar idea as he started Facebook back 2004. Who knew when Mark and his friends meet with an equity firm it create an industrial with billions? After all, it look to me, he created Facebook for his friends and it grew endlessly
May 13, 2020
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Florian K.
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Filipino (Tagalog), Finnish, Other
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Finnish, Other