Rights to Badge

Badges on IKEA backpack

For the past couple of months since Ruben and I bought and decorated our IKEA Upptäcka bags I’ve had a Legacy Day badge grace one of the many new pinholes on my bag. While I definitely support providing for Australian families that are suffering financially and/or socially after the incapacitation of death of a family member during or after defence force service, it’s never entirely felt right for it to be there.

I have friends in the defence force — in fact my almost-nametwin from high school joined the Navy straight after graduation. In this sense I would have a vested interest to see that she and her family are taken care of if anything happened. But while there is no one particularly close to me in the defence force, it doesn’t feel entirely right to bear the pin so prominently. Just as it didn’t feel right purchasing a defence force pin while at Fleet Air Arm Museum, when others have spent years training to earn them.

While I happily support many charities and causes whenever I can, sometimes I get the feeling that I don’t have the ‘right’ to display the wares which end up being ‘purchased’ from my donations. For organisations that have a focus, such as BeyondBlue for depression and anxiety, or Pink Ribbon Day for breast cancer, at times I’m uncertain whether these should be displayed if you’re someone who has been impacted directly, or simply as a show of support for their cause.

In this sense a much easier decision, however, for wares from more general charities such as the Cancer Council’s Daffofil Day, where I can easily get behind cancer research and prevention without inadvertently implying something that may not necessarily be true.

Regardless, I swapped out the Legacy badge a few days ago in exchange for another cause I’m somewhat closer with. As mentioned, BeyondBlue tries to help those with depression or anxiety and that’s something I’ve seen in spades at high school. Two close friends had depression and at least one had anxiety — just from high school, not even counting those I met through uni or online.

I don’t know what to do with the Legacy Day badge yet, but needless to say I’ll keep donating to charities if I can. Maybe it’s entirely silly to think that I can only display these sorts of badges if I’ve been affected, because it would be better if no one were affected by such things. In fact it probably is silly. But when talking about feelings, emotions are never entirely logical. Regardless, whether or not I wear these badges, these organisations can be assured of my ongoing support all the same.